One of the hottest trends on the Internet right now is location-based social networking services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude and others. They allow you to “check in” whenever you visit a public place such as a coffee shop, restaurant or anywhere else, and your friends can see where you are.
It sounds simple. Yet when you use the services, it becomes quite addictive. For example, with Foursquare, you can become the “Mayor” of each public place if you check in more often than anyone else. You can earn badges and other virtual gifts.
For soccer fans who are tech-savvy, location-based social networking services are definitely worth checking out. Here are the three main location-based tools I recommend as well as reasons why soccer fans should use Foursquare, Gowalla and a new location-based site called Miso:
- Miso. With Miso, you don’t check into public places. Instead you check into TV shows and movies. You can use the Miso iPhone app to “check in” whenever you’re watching a soccer game, a TV show or when you’re watching a movie. And you can let your friends know on Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Gowalla. It’s a great way to brag to your friends when you’re watching some of the best soccer games.
- Gowalla. This is my favorite location-based tool because of two reasons: (1) they have created a tour of soccer stadiums in the Premier League to “check in” to (see above picture), and (2) their tool is the most beautifully designed and easy to use out of all of them. If you don’t have a chance to visit a Premier League ground soon, you can still let your friends know where you are and check in to places if/when you go see a match at your local pub. Sign up for Gowalla today for free. And download the beautifully designed Gowalla iPhone app from a company that definitely has some soccer fans onboard!
- Foursquare. While Gowalla is my favorite, Foursquare is currently the most popular in the industry. I end up using both Gowalla and Foursquare, but the concept of Foursquare is basically the same with Gowalla. Sign up for Foursquare for free. And be sure to download the Foursquare iPhone app to make it easier to check in on the go.
Another benefit of using location-based tools is that you may be surprised who lives on your doorstep. You may end up finding new soccer friends who live in your area or frequent the same establishments as you do.
Location-based social networking services are a lot of fun and pretty addictive. If you don’t believe me, give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.