A little critique on the piece, “Not only did he form the first swarm of 50 plus users…” is a little misleading. He may have attempted to throw a “Swarm” party at PYT, but it was hardly the first “Swarm” on Foursquare. Maybe it was the first “Swarm” in Philly. I really hope it wasn’t. The preemptive attempt at getting a “Swarm” badge by throwing an event seems a bit contrived. I personally feel that badges should be earned more organically. Promoting a “Swarm” party had some Foursquare user’s cheating (checking in even though they weren’t there) just to get the “Swarm Badge”. Lame, although it should be expected when the goal of your event is simply to earn this badge.
People trying too hard or cheating on Foursquare is starting to make the service less appealing to me. I understand people will use a service however they see fit and I’m hardly trying to tell people how they should and shouldn’t use foursquare. I just feel that the competitive nature of Foursquare combined with the ability to cheat the system brings out some very childish habits in some users. You could probably say the same about me complaining about it. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, I guess
I’ve recently started using Gowalla as well as Foursquare. I won’t go into detail on Gowalla‘s service in this post too much. All I’ll say is it feel more like a scavenger hunt and way less competitive. It also uses your GPS to determine how close you are to a venue when trying to check in (I’ve seen this work against people when GPS accuracy isn’t spot on). I feel this makes Gowalla more fun, although I won’t front on Foursquare venue specials, like a free draft beer whenever you check-in to PYT.
I also must say, the term “Droiders” they use at the end of the piece made my skin crawl. Leave it to mainstream media to casually classify different smart-phone users by a brand. As a G1 owner, I really hope the term “Droiders” doesn’t catch on.