Later today, because I’m still cogitating on chapter/lesson 3, I’m going to send the first 25% of Teach Yourself Foursquare in 10 Minutes to my editor. The reason that I didn’t send them yesterday as per the schedule is that a) I got sick of working in Word (since I prefer to use Scrivener, as you already know) and b) as I was working through the chapter/lesson on Finding/Adding Friends on Foursquare, I started to wonder about the whole process of friending on Foursquare.
First off, I think that friends on Foursquare are a different sort of friend than other social networks. On Twitter, I follow a lot of people, because my info is already public, so there isn’t much to lose there. On Facebook, I’m more discerning, but more willing to add “friends of friends”, I also don’t use Facebook for much, nor do I post stuff there that I would be aghast to see in public.
Now, Foursquare is a horse of a different color.
While I’ve been expanding my circle of who I’m accepting friendship requests from, Foursquare is still the one place where I really pause and wonder “do I want this person to know where I am and where I’m not?”.
This got me thinking about how people add and expand their Foursquare circle of friends. Do you see who is checking in on Twitter and see if you’re already friends with them? Do you see who is at a venue and add them if you know them (this is a mobile-centric task)? Do you go through Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail checks periodically to see if anyone new is on Foursquare who you missed?
All together, I think Foursquare is the start of a new paradigm of social networking friendships. Friendships that are, in fact, more based on real life than on Internet life. So the next operative question is whether Facebook and Twitter will move towards “accept everyone” and then more “private” services will come up in their wake. Or will Facebook and Twitter start promoting ways of having “personal intranets”? I know Facebook has the ability to make groups of friends right now (and I admit that I don’t use them), but those groups aren’t more than self-filing systems. In our era of openness, will Foursquare, in fact, herald an new approach to friends that might bring things closer again?
Or maybe I’ve had too much coffee this morning.
Update: Interestingly, Gina Trapani talks about this same idea, social media friends and friends in real life—The “Only If We’re Offline Friends” Rule | Smarterware.