I’m not active on any social networks, and a newbie to twitter, so I was shocked when I first saw the twitter stream of somebody who was using some kind of check-in service. There were a lot of updates that basically said “I’m at the office”, intermingled with the occasional “I’m shopping here”, “I’m having a coffee” and a single “I’m at the dentist’s”. It’s everything that detractors of status updates ever mocked. Trivial, uninformative, inappropriate: I half expected to see a “I’m mayor at the office toilet” in there with the, actual, “I’m mayor at the office now”. The sheer volume of noise would be terribly cluttering up my twitter stream, if I ever followed anybody like that. So I won’t, ever.
Do I see any sense in these check-in services in general? Well, I don’t carry a single retail loyalty card, since I don’t want to trade in my personal information for the occasional discount. A game element, or any other bells & whistles that the new online services might add don’t change the fundamental nature of this trade-in, so for me the answer is a resounding ‘No’. But that’s just me. If it’s worth it to you, then by all means check in to your heart’s content. Just don’t be surprised if I don’t want to hear about it.