My friend Mike and I were talking about Foursquare a couple nights ago and we decided that Foursquare needs to have a "starter" friend that you can choose to follow when you sign up. This person, we'll call her Lady K., is not some token-friend to make you feel better that you don't know anyone on foursquare. Rather, she's hooked-in and always knows where the party is at. She knows what you are into and she's always on the look out for what you like.
Here's a few example messages:
Lady K. @ Bueno "This place just opened in your neighborhood. Might be worth checking out. I'm told the brunch is awesome!"
Lady K. @ ACE Bar "I noticed you were at ACE Bar a week a go. They are giving away free Heineken till 9 tonight. Should be fun."
Lady K. @ Drop #15 "I heard someone left something valuable around here in a blue box. Noticed you were in the neighborhood and thought you might be able to find it. Good Luck. I give up."
Lady K. just shouted "Looks like you're in LA. If you're looking for something to do, add my buddy Scotty G. He knows what's what. I already miss you."
As long as it's opt in and the messages aren't too frequent, I think a lot of people would love to have a friend like Lady K. There are lot's of directions you can take it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
One of the initial promises of twitter was that it was going to crank our social lives to eleven by keeping us über-connected to our friends and potential hook-ups. In that theoretical twitter-infused world your pals would tweet:
and you would tweet back:
And all of those previously-missed moments of friendship would finally be captured and fill in those tiny bits of emptiness in your heart.
But somehow that world hasn't seem to have materialized for me. It's not that my friends don't use twitter to let me know when they are grabbing some food in my neighborhood. Many of my friends are prolific tweeters and that's the problem. I can't forward their tweets to my phone because there are just way too many but by the time I get around to checking their updates I've already missed the window on their open invite.
So I am suggesting a new nomenclature for time-sensitive tweets: the exclamation point!
And now a demonstration:
If it is widely used and adopted by twitter or at least implemented by a few smartphone apps, these urgent updates can be automatically sent to your phone via sms or send you an alert using your smart phone's alert system. This could also be implemented by facebook as well as myspace (if any of your friends are still on myspace).
Everyone's status-stream is only going to get more cluttered as adoption rates of micro-blogging increase. The exclamation point is a simple solution to have the urgent information you want sent to you in a timely manner.
! Spread the word.