Unsolicited Suggestion for Foursquare from a Superuser

I read in the Bits blog that Foursquare is taking its "explore" feature from the app to the web. Foursquare is seizing the opportunity to become a recommendation engine, leveraging the millions of check-ins users have registered from their phones.

6690334587_81a948acba_zI first used the Foursquare explore feature when in Chicago last spring with my brothers. It took us a few places we would not otherwise have gone.

I know Foursquare's commercialization includes advertising, but so far the ads seem low impact to me. Nothing - so far - as fundamentally untenable as Twitter putting advertising directly in the tweet stream. (Note on the script Dan Carleton wrote to suppress the in-stream ads: he's working on updating it for the new new Twitter.)

Here's a suggestion to Foursquare from a "superuser," someone who rarely fails to check-in (when the venue is cool) and who guards his mayoralties* jealousy:

Share the revenue generated from the explore engine with your user base.

Pay the crowd, the users sourcing the data. Give 'em a cut!

What's that? It'll attract insincere users just looking to make a nickel, like so many vagrants returning bottles and cans for the deposit or the recycling bounty? Nah, you know better than that. You have enough experience vetting genuine users (another proficiency with other possible applications).

Social media needs to turn the tables on the exploitation of user generated content. Foursquare could start the run.

*"Mayoralty" is an old school, offline word for mayorship.

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