Speaking of "do I fit into your target market?": Facebook Deals
I'm a Groupon user and a FourSquare critic. I like deals, and as long as I can convince myself NOT to buy things I won't use on Groupon, it's something that I will continue to be interested in. FourSquare is less interesting to me. And by less interesting, I mean that I find it annoying that people broadcast their slightest move ("let's go next door and then tell everyone"), but fascinating that one's sense of self-interest is so readily visible online. And by "self-interest," I definitely don't mean this blog, nope. I can only hope that I am a little more engaging than a location-based check in. Though judging by the number of comments I get on some posts, I have to wonder. Thanks for keeping my ego in check, lurkers. Oh, I kid (kind of). Don't hate.
So, now along comes this Facebook Deal stuff(careful with that article...the editing is atrocious). Big old sigh from me. I love the idea of location-based services. I like being delivered information in increasing relevance, and if location helps to pin down what is relevant, then I am all for it. So yeah, the location-based pipes...I don't have a problem with them. What I do have a problem with is broadcasting my location. Aside from the tedium mentioned above, I am guessing that the developers of some location-based apps have never had any kind of stalker-like experience. I've had a couple brushes with it and it is scary as hell. And mine wasn't even the "time to call the police" kind, just a "that person is really scaring me and my heart is pounding thinking about it" kind. So the thought of someone I don't know who has decided that I would like to visit with them more than I would (which is, like, not at all), falls into the "scares the crap out of me" category.
It is hard for me to think about something that could stand between me and a good deal. But sharing location info is one of those things. I truly hope that the comparison referenced between FourSquare and Facebook is all about the pipes and not about the actual delivery of location status. I'd love to share with you some of the creepy emails I have received just from this blog but I am guessing that is not a good idea. So, when I look at this Facebook Deals deal, I am wondering if I can make this work without sharing my location with my Facebook friends (and ticking off those that are similarly minded). Don't even get me started on the people who think it's funny to make up hashtags on Facebook #tryingnottocomplaintoomuchinonepost #butaren'tiwitty
Facebook, do not make me decided between my safety and a good deal. Sophie's choice.
Moving along, there's a whole discussion that I could go into here about the 500 pound gorilla and how Facebook got there so quickly. About how the scrappy newcomer gets pinched by the established company with bountiful resources. For me to say that I/we haven't been there is silly. It's part of the evolution of a company and a market and as long as new innovation is brought to the category it's all good (did I mention that Kinect launched this morning?). Nobody gets to *own* a market. Competition breeds innovation. Thank gawd! I'd have a hard time cranking my model-t every morning. It would get me dirty. Anyway, call me pragmatic. The underdog archetype gets old when you have seen the routine being milked before.
Now Facebook and FourSquare, slow down with that innovation please. I'm starting to get freaked out.