FourSquare check-ins versus native applications

I have been playing with FourSquare for about four weeks now as many of my friends have probably seen the check-ins on Facebook and Twitter. I have even gone to the extent to checking out the API behind the scenes and it looks very clean and easy. The basis of the API is REST (REpresentational State Transfer). So integrating other commerce based products, tools, and sites should be a snap.

Not many people in my area are using FourSquare but on a positive note there seem to be more and more people using it even in the past month. I am already a mayor in two places; not sure what that buys me but it felt good.

I used FourSquare to check into a store called Justified; my wife and I were shopping for a birthday present. There were signs all over the store for 40% off. When I checked into FourSquare I received a coupon code “500” and received an additional 40% off! I was thinking, there is no way its 40% off then another 40% off, but that is exactly how it rang up at the register after presenting the coupon from my iPhone. We saved tons of money that day. So much in fact, we got the girl double the amount of gifts because we felt bad it was so inexpensive – she really made out…

Now, on to my point. I really like the concept of check-ins using an application like this. It allows me to use the application to find many kinds of places and see what those places have for specials. For instance, I might be at a Best Buy with a Staples next door, I see on FourSquare that Staples has a coupon or a special by seeing the special indicator in the “Stores nearby”. This immediately lets me know what stores in my physical area have specials and which stores do not. In my mind, this is a huge benefit over stores with specific applications on my iPhone. Stores with their own applications make me go into their application, check-in, and look for specials – once again, very different than seeing a list of stores with specials. So it makes me ask, why go through the trouble of having a native iPhone(mobile) application when services like “check-in” and “coupons” are available on products like GoWalla, FourSquare, Facebook, etc? With HTML 5 you could get a lot accomplished on these devices without having a special native application for your store. Leave check-ins to applications that offer a community, badges, rewards, and a social aspect to the check-in action.



Blog and video stats for 2011

I started keeping stats in 2010 and it looks like 2010 was a “better” year for hits and posts, most likely because I blogged a lot about Lotus and Eclipse stuff more (about twice as many posts) that year than 2011. This site generated 88,815 hits for the year in 2011 and 68,443 in 2010 (minus three months of logging statistics).

The home page is by far the most active hit, probably because of my blog URL on all of my social site profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).

Title Views
Home page 12,951
Window Builder for Eclipse – for SWT, RCP and SWING UI’s 1,628
Is GWT the future of web development? 1,561
Finding the XPath in Internet Explorer 1,344
plugin_customization.ini and Eclipse preferences 1,253
How does Facebook serve millions so fast? BigPipe 988
Flash, HTML5, Java, Silverlight – which one would you use? 864
Which Java sort is faster – MergeSort, QuickSort or Arrays.sort? 850
Eclipse announces move to .NET and away from Java 815
Kick ass Group Calendar for Lotus Notes 800
New Lotus Notes Attachment Viewer 2.0.1 posted 789
Eclipse 3.7 is available for download! 711
Java tops the list of “in-demand” and highest paid skills! 684
Will Java 8 bring in OSGI? 615
Where are all of these Eclipse preferences stored? 613
HTML5, CSS and Dojo it is 571
Quick tip: Using Sametime Emoticons for quick text 558
A great Lotus Notes Composite Application tutorial 539
Expensify CEO: Why We Don’t Hire .NET Programmers 535
Free charting in Lotus Notes 530
Dojo.query and forEach loop, a powerful combination 530
QuickTip Video: Using Eclipse’s Auto-Complete feature 520
Learning the Eclipse RCP by Lars Vogel 509
Extending Notes Mail – Mail Rule utility update for Notes 8.5 504

I did have a fairly good year of video viewers on YouTube with 6765 views of for the year. I am glad to see some WebSphere Commerce videos in that top 10 list but it looks like the Lotus and Eclipse ones still reign.