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About Jack

Jack Cotter, social media expert for Dealerscope and CustomRetailer, helps retailers and manufacturers find the answers to their social media problems.

Follow Jack on Twitter at @JackJCotter

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Does Anyone Care About Location-Based Social Networks?


I want to like checking in, really I do. But it's just not working for me.

I tried foursquare a while ago, and I still use it to brag about going to Phillies games or the Springsteen concert, but mostly I'm not interested in sharing the details of my daily progression from bed, to couch, to cubicle, and neither are my friends.

I have never done a Facebook check-in, but I really appreciate how they warn me when people are nearby -- so I know what places to avoid (which is probably not what they had in mind).

Just over year ago I wrote a blog post about a retail app called shopkick, but after a couple of months I stopped using it. I feel weird scanning things in stores -- especially now that Amazon helped make "showrooming" a household word.

But I still keep an eye out for location-based apps, because from a retail perspective, it seems like a no-brainer. The idea of targeting advertisements directly at individuals at the time and place they can take action is like the holy grail for this blog.

So I couldn't help but read an article I saw on GigaOM about a new app called nSide:

While marketers increasingly look to harness location, most of the work is aimed at zeroing in on where people are out and about on the street. But there is a big opportunity in targeting location indoors, tailoring messages to the exact position of users as they browse aisles and roam through stores. That's what Point Inside, a start-up from Seattle, is looking to tap

Also in the article, Point Inside's CEO Josh Marti "said the real opportunity involves building a physical representation of the store for mobile, enhancing the way people are able to shop-in store using their smartphones."

I really like the sound of that, and I wish them the best. I want it to work out, but are we ready for location services to take off?

My shopkick post was titled "How shopkick Exposed My Social Retail Wounds" because I had to admit, I felt awkward using the app in stores. Well, now it's a year later and I haven't seen anything to change my mind.

Am I wrong? Or will I be writing another post a year from today about how I wish a location-based social network worked for me?

Are you using a location app that I've totally overlooked? Let me know.

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