I still love Foursquare. I check in nearly everywhere I go. I still also check in with Gowalla (my checkins) and Yelp (my Yelps) and a variety of other services. Why? Because these tools continue to evolve very quickly and the world of location-based services is getting more and more important every day. You know that if you read Techmeme or Techcrunch with any regularity.
First, what do they do?
Goby lets you find things around you, like hiking trails. Try to do THAT with any other service!
TheDealMap lets you find deals around you, with easily 50x more deals and offers than any other service I’ve found.
But don’t take my word for it, listen into the CEOs tell you about their products and come back for more after you watch these two:
Now, notice what these two actually do: the bring you REAL utility on top of location. How am I using these two services?
Well, on July 4th we’re going to be in Los Angeles, so I did a search on Goby.com for fireworks in Los Angeles on 7/4/10. Brings back a list of things to do with a map of where those things are close to me.
I need more exercise, so I did another search for “hiking, Half Moon Bay, anytime.”
But, now, here’s the magic. Click on the map, then drag the pin to a new location. It shows you the same search results, but for the new location! This is very cool and VERY important for getting real utility out of the location you are in or the location you will be in (something Foursquare or Gowalla has really no clue about).
Next, let’s go to the Deal Map.
Again, I’m planning a vacation for Los Angeles, so let’s do a search for Laguna Nigel, CA, which is where we’ll be staying for more than a week.
Nearby I see a ton of restaurant deals laid out on a map. I click on an icon and it shows me the deal, which even includes a free $6 burger at the nearby Burger King. Gowalla or Foursquare never did THAT for me!
Again, move around the map, click “refresh deals” and you see the deals available in that area. They are tracking hundreds of thousands of deals in real time from all over the web (they’ve built a sophisticated spidering system to make sure the deals are fresh and valid).
Now, why did I say these are more important than Foursquare or Gowalla or the other companies in this space?
Well, normal people are still resisting using these location services. But these offer REAL utility and REAL value. My wife got excited by both of these, where she isn’t excited by Foursquare or Gowalla.
Now, imagine that Foursquare hooked up with these two companies (they both have APIs)? Wouldn’t THAT be awesome?
The name of the game is utility and value and these two companies are providing both at a rate the others simply aren’t. That makes them more important.
What do you think?
UPDATE: over on Google Buzz they are talking about Goby. Kenneth Lawson writes “fell in love…this is actually useful.”