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I'm sure I haven't even touched close to half of the actual location-based or checkin-based games/apps/whatever that are out there. And I'm starting to get overloaded.

Currently I'm a regular on Foursquare and have started playing around with Miso and MyTown. Foursquare is fine. It has become my default. But it also has competitors (mainly Gowalla and Britekite - neither of which I've touched at all). Foursquare just seems to be the most widely used at this point. So why bother with the smaller ones when barely anyone around here is even using the biggest one?

Miso is basically Foursquare for movies and TV shows. You "checkin" to report what you are watching. It seems OK. The concept is cool enough to be able to share what you are watching and what you enjoy. They've even worked in Foursquare's "badge" idea - though I'm yet to unlock any other badges except the newbie TV and newbie Movie badges. So there is a minor incentive to play. It really seems to be in its infancy though. There's no actual website side of things (other than a place to download the app). No profile online yet. No apparent use for points that you earn. But you can have friends.

MyTown is almost another Foursquare competitor. But I don't want to say that's what it is. It feels like it at first because you check into places as you go out... but it is a LOT different. It takes Foursquare and builds a much larger "game" out of it where you can buy and sell the locations ("shops") that you check into, upgrade them, and collect rent on them (ie, makes Foursquare more complicated). What the "end goal" would be is anyone's guess. I suppose maybe just to compare/compete with your friends. Ya, I have one friend on both Miso and MyTown: my girlfriend. I have a few more on Foursquare, but none of them really use it as much as Jen and I do.

Which brings me to another point... all of these checkin services are more than happy to link up with your Twitter and your Facebook to share all of the wonderful places you're going and things you're doing. Now consider the three services that I use... could you imagine my Twitter feed or Facebook wall if I were to allow all of them to publish everything all of the time? HELL NO.

I cannot imagine being a friend of someone on FB that publishes ALL of that stuff. Or following someone on Twitter to only see checkins all day. Why bother? I'd just unfriend you or unfollow you. By default I have ALL of those things turned off. As I checkin somewhere I enable certain things certain times depending on where I am or what I'm doing. If I'm checking into a car wash (don't judge me), I don't need to let my friends and followers know about it, now do I?

What this all comes down to is taking up my time. Not a huge deal... I mean, it does give me something to do some of the time I'm out. But when I go somewhere now and have to remember to check into Foursquare and MyTown (cannot imagine if I were using Gowalla and Britekite as well, omg), even those two services take time and effort. One is no problem. Open the app, checkin, move on. Now I have to open a second one, checkin, make sure it recorded, collect the rent on the shops I bought, make sure I apply the right bonuses to my next checkin, etc, etc, etc.

I'm not sure how long I'll continue all of these. I feel like I'll keep up with Foursquare for quite a while. I don't know too much about the others... just have to wait and see how I feel about them.

FOLLOW UP (5/10/10): I quit MyTown. It was pointless. You can just checkin all you want, anywhere, and still get points and bonuses and whatever you want. No wonder I read that they just imposed a checkin limit per day. I can't imagine the point if there wasn't one at all. You'd just play for like an hour, check into everything, buy as much as you can and be done. Game over. No fun at all.

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Approaching Location Checkin Overload! (Updated)”

  • Chris Thompson

    May 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve been using check.in lately to check in to Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite simultaneously. It’s still in beta (only took a day to get an invite), but it works pretty well. I haven’t tried Mytown or miso yet. I hardly watch enough TV to make miso worth it. From the sounds of it, Mytown is much more of a game than I’m interested in screwing around with.

    Check out this comparison between Foursquare and Mytown. Their point is that Mytown is much more about playing the game than it is about showing your friends where you are.

  • ack154

    May 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Ya, that article outlines a lot of the reasons I feel the two are different as well. And I initially started trying MyTown because of the recent coverage of it “competing” with Foursquare – which I sound found out after playing that it would not be the case.