As a social media geek and early-adopter I’ve been a long time user of Twitter. Nowadays Twitter is so mainstream that it doesn’t take too much explanation to justify to non-users why I bother.
I’ve also been using Foursquare for a while now, but that one is a little bit harder to justify – “yeah, so basically you check-in to places when you visit them and if you check in the most to a venue you are made the ‘Mayor‘”. In truth it does have potential to help you discover new places if you live in somewhere like London and have lots of friends using it. I don’t have many friends [using it] and I live in Oxford, so it’s not so much use.
Nevertheless, I continue to persevere, but I’m not really sure why. I do feel I should point out I am the Mayor of Said Business School. Welcome to my little fiefdom!
Tonight I experienced a real-world use for Foursquare thanks to an app called Agora on Twitter.
I was sitting in the library browsing Facebook, studying for tomorrow’s Operations Management exam, when an @reply tweet popped up on Echofon:
Checking out @sitar‘s Twitter profile I found that she is a VC investing in Internet start-ups, so definitely the sort of person I’d like to meet, so I replied:
and she agreed to meet!
Anyway, it turns out there is an investor event on at the business school: Financing for Growth. I knew the event was on, but as I am in the middle of exams it would have been difficult for me to attend. However now I had specific people to meet so I popped down to the networking drinks and ended up having a couple of good conversations about my startup with @sitar and @pmoehring.
So what is Agora?
That’s what I said, and the Agora twitter account pointed me in the direction of this article. Basically, Agora uses the Foursquare API* to match you up to people when you check-in to locations, using the Twitter API to work out if you have similar interests. Considering it suggested I meet with two people involved in Internet start-up investing, I would say it’s doing quite a good job! Actually, Agora was suggesting that Sitar and PMoehring meet me rather than the other way around, so I have now signed up on their website so I get notifications too.
So now I have a real world example of something useful coming from using both Twitter** and Foursquare!
Now I should really get back to my Operations Management studying. Something about an American Connector Company. I wonder if it will involve lead times and cycle times? Hmmm…
** Recently I’ve had another VC arrange to meet me through Twitter and set-up an internship interview at a top London VC firm, so I’m not short of examples for Twitter on its own.