Before I go make my concluding remarks about Foursquare, I want to first mention another development I learned of this week, very relevant to our class (not necessarily brand new, but this was reported on two weeks ago by TechCrunch):
Foursquare is implementing more and more peer-production! Very active Foursquare users can earn the label “Superuser,” made up of three levels – each allowing greater access to participate in the development of certain aspects of the site.
- Level 1: Users are able to edit venues (including names and cross streets), mark places as “closed,” and note duplicates.
- Level 2 (added two weeks ago): Users are able to merge venues themselves when there are duplicates.
- Level 3 (not added yet): Likely to contain elements such as adding badges and policing other users.
According to TechCrunch: “Shortly after the group of users got upgraded to Level 2, founder Crowley noted that ’we had some 2000+ duplicate venues in the system 30 mins ago. We’re [now] down to 400.’ He followed up shortly after that noting, ‘it took less than 2 hours for users to go thru 90% of our merge queue.”
Benkler (and the new media elite) would be proud. This seems like an efficient use of user participation for a start-up with only four employees. With users willing to help edit and produce Foursquare content, Foursquare themselves can focus on bigger issues.
Now some concluding remarks on my adventures with Foursquare: