“Jill, this is Sergeant Sacker. Listen to me. We’ve traced the call… it’s coming from inside the house.”
And like the horror movie, we as the audience suddenly realize the dread of having an unwelcome visitor in our own home. And then you start realizing why the window was left open, why the keys are on the floor when you are sure you left it on the counter, why there were sounds of footsteps outside the door—what you thought was just the house creaking…
IT IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!
But what if…on Foursquare, the application, the service that I have been obsessed with since mid-summer with tracking my movements in the Bay Area…what if I started checking in people’s houses? You see the way it works (if you haven’t heard me talk about it nonstop and trying to get YOU to use it if you have an iPhone or Android phone) is that Foursquare users check in at any venues they visit. For each time they check in, the user gets points. More points is built over the year for the second, third, fourth, etc. stop. Foursquare users can also add their own venues. And it’s not uncommon to come across people’s houses because hey you’re at home—shouldn’t that be a place you can check in?
What if I walked by and decided to check in? Would the mayor (the person who most likely lives there) be freaked out when they look in the people detail? Wait a minute they would say. I DON’T RECOGNIZE THIS PERSON Granted, I wouldn’t even have to visit the location at all because I can check in remotely.
That person was there only 5 minutes ago! they would exclaim. And would they become startled and look around in fear. Did someone check in WITHIN MY HOUSE
And would the person they’re talking to on twitter, gchat, email, facebook…say GET OUT OF THERE GET OUT OF THERE! WHATEVER YOU DO NOW, GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE!
Most likely though, that mayor would check in to “the street outside my house” and add the shout “there’s someone I don’t recognize in my house on Foursquare”.
Note: I do recognize one of the houses in the snapshot (aka Casa De Haro). Try searching for “Home”, “House” or even plain street addresses. Why is Home the most popular place on Foursquare even though it’s only a restaurant? Because people don’t know any better.
Note 2: I have never been that interested in checking in at Home.