Everyone is trying to figure out the answer to getting location-based services to go mainstream. SCVNGR CEO Seth Priebatsch talked about this yesterday. He thinks this will be the decade of the gamer layer, and that looking at game mechanics can solve a lot of the world's problems, with location-based services playing a huge role.
Foursquare Community Manager Chrysanthe Tenentes spoke on a panel today at SXSW about the future of locations and local online communities. Besides working at Foursquare, she also co-founded the local neighborhood-based North Brooklyn Breakfast Club and is a partner with the Brooklyn Based, a local e-newsletter. Suffice it to say, she is very close to the local/location space.
When she first started living in New York, she says, she was always writing things down on post-it notes - places that she wanted to visit. She said she would leave the house, and wish that her phone would tell her when she was near a place that was recommended by a friend.
Well, that's what the new version of Foursquare does, with its Explore feature, which could end up being one of the most important features in the progression of LBS usage. People need a reason to use an app like Foursquare, and this is a reason. Perhaps even more key is time and history.
The information from these apps is most important when it's aggregated (history of your friends' use and your use), she said. She also mentioned the app Foursquare and 7 Years Ago, which shows history. The thinking is that you might check-in somewhere today, and say something about a place today, and it might not mean much, but a year from now, it might have meaning. You can see experiences you and your friends have had based on places, and make decisions based on this information.
That's where things really start to get useful.