Monday, September 12, 2011

What Job Does FourSquare and LocalMind Do For You?

In "What Job Does Social Media Do For You", Whitney Johnson identifies five jobs that she uses social media to accomplish. I thought it interesting to review jobs in light of what FourSquare or LocalMind might be able to accomplish. Of the four jobs that Whitney identifies as being achievable with social media, two are aligned with jobs that FourSquare and LocalMind are suitable for.

To be fair to both Whitney's article and FourSquare and LocalMind, the article was written for a professional audience and directed at expanding professional contacts. FourSquare and LocalMind have a business aspect to them but for the user who is going to check-in at a business or look for specials it isn't professional contacts they are trying to find. They are trying to meet new people when out with friends, locate new interesting places to visit or simply save money.


Two of the jobs that Whitney identifies are aligned with the strengths of FourSquare and LocalMind. These jobs are:

  • Help me stay in touch with people I like, even though our lives don't currently intersect.
  • Help me expand my network.

I'd view the ability of FourSquare and LocalMind to help stay in touch with people I like as leveraging fortuitious occurences. Both applications increase the odds of chance meetings if you check-in somewhere and one of your friends is looking for something to do.

As far as expanding your network, I'd say that there is the association between expanding your professional network and the use of FourSquare and LocalMind really depends upon the type of business you are in. If you are selling products or services to consumers then there might be a lot of overlap. Less overlap if you are selling products or services to businesses. I agree that these applications can expand your circle of friends but the odds of expanding your professional network seems much like a chance meeting anywhere you choose to start a conversation.

I wouldn't say that using FourSquare and LocalMind to expand your professional network is worse then attending a general networking event. Applying the same reasoning to an event specific to your profession means that FourSquare and LocalMind are much less likely to be able to do the job for you. If you use FourSquare or LocalMind during a professional event you might increase the odds of generating higher quality professional contacts but that depends on the size of the event and whether you attend the same after hour venues as other attendees.

If you view FourSquare and LocalMind from the perspective of the job-to-be-done framework, also referenced in Whitney's article, then a different idea of what FourSquare and LocalMind can be hired for develops. You are hiring FourSquare and LocalMind to meet new people and to find new places in the area you live, work or are visiting.

In this case, the job you are hiring FourSquare and LocalMind for is closer to a tour guide or a helpful friend. Both want you to enjoy yourself and maybe that's the best way to view these applications.

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