There is no denying I love social media. Over the next few posts I am going to share three (or more) of the lesser known platforms that I love (and possibly addicted to).
Links to my social media profiles on popular channels (Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram) are in the footer of my website, but in these #SocialSessions I am going to focus on some you might not have heard of or used.
Swarm isn’t for everyone, I will say that much. It isn’t new either – beginning life as “Foursquare”, it created a buzz in 2010-2011. But its use has since declined.
I started using Foursquare on a road trip with friends through the States in 2010. I wanted a way to track where we stayed, where we ate, the museums and places we saw. Foursquare recorded all these things with a few touches on my phone – it was my modern-day travel journal. I also pushed the check-ins to a public Twitter account that my family was following (so they could see what we were up to).
This ignited my now four-year love affair with Foursquare. Whilst I don’t love the change to “Swarm” (or the look that new-Foursquare was given for that matter); I am still a loyal to the check-in. 8,894 check-ins and counting.
I don’t use Swarm as a way to find and meet up with friends, so in a way it isn’t as “social” as it could be (or perhaps was designed to be). I only have 22 friends on Swarm. But I do have several other uses.
I enjoy reading the tips and recommendations that friends, and other users, leave with their check-ins. It also provides me an automated “to-do” list of places to visit, which are then removed once I have checked-in at that location.
Swarm can plot out all the points on a map of the world that you have checked in at. It is like a tech-version of a giant globe with push-pins marking all the cities and countries you have visited. It is a mesmerizing and interesting thing to reflect on. I embrace the inner nerd!
I also keep track of the number of boot camp classes I have attended by simply adding “#bootcamp” to check-ins when I am doing a boot camp class.
I was also excited (back in heyday of Foursquare) for new developments that were coming onto the market using check-ins. For example, there was a plugin that would alert you when you checked into a movie (at a cinema) that had a post-credit scene (so you would know to stay for the credits). Unfortunately this app is no longer supported. Hopefully the recent re-brand to Swarm reignited interest in developing these kind of apps further.
My check-ins also come in handy at times when people ask something like “What was the name of the hotel we stayed at in Austin in 2010?” I can always find out. Oh yeah, and one time I got a free dessert as a check-in special (#swag).
How else am I going to use all this information about my travels and day-to-day life? To be honest, I don’t know; maybe I won’t – but it is there and a growing database of my life and adventures.
Next up I will introduce you to a fitness social network I have used for even longer than Foursquare!