Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Being less sociable

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Recently I’ve taken a few steps back on a couple of social networks. They’re no longer really of much value to me and therefore not worth investing time in.

app.net

I wrote about app.net’s troubles back in May, when I said:

I liked the idea behind App.net and wanted it to succeed. But I’m not afraid to admit that if it were to disappear tomorrow, I doubt I would miss it.

app.net hasn’t disappeared but a lot of its users have. It’s been some time since I had the NetBot client on my iPhone, but until recently I had it on my iPad as well, and popped on daily to see if there was anything interesting. When it stopped being interesting, I deleted NetBot from my iPad as well. For the purposes of this blog post, I logged in today to see if anything interesting had happened in the past month – nope. It’s perhaps because I was never following many people in the first place, but either way it doesn’t seem to be worth my time anymore.

I will still post things over there, mainly because the majority of my posts were automated through IFTTT anyway and it doesn’t require any extra effort on my part.

Foursquare / Swarm

This may surprise you, as I’ve been a really avid user of Foursquare over the years, and was really enthusiastic about the launch of Swarm. But using Foursquare just isn’t any fun anymore – the incentives to check in everywhere, in the form of badges and mayorships, are gone. I’ve gone from checking in 5-6 times a day, to probably 2-3 times per week. There’s just not much point now.

I like Foursquare and its tips were really useful when we were in Dublin and looking for things to do and places to eat at. However, there’s nothing that makes me want to use it on a day to day basis. I suppose someone who is very outgoing and has lots of friends using it might see some value, but I’ve found little reason to carry on.

I’m not about to give up my account as it is useful for reflection. I imagine the next time I go away somewhere I’ll use it more often as a travel diary, for example. But there will be less checkins at supermarkets, train stations or at work, where I go everyday. It’s sad, because having been in favour of Swarm initially, I feel that Foursquare has actually broken up the community and lost a lot of good faith in the process. And ironically this came just after I’d praised Foursquare for pivoting without alienating its user base – which it then went on to do just that.

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