One of the latest waves in social media is location based services like Gowalla and Foursquare. The concept is to use your mobile device to “Check In” to locations that you visit and use it as a tool to connect with people and places. Gowalla recently released an application programming interface (API) to allow other applications to be developed that link to data from Gowalla. The guidelines for using the API, from the website, are:
- Check in where the user actually is
- Don’t encourage checking in where the user isn’t
- Never check in without permission from the user
- Encourage social behavior, discourage bot-like behavior
- Rapid, repeated checkins are not tolerated
- Use the API responsibly
These were first brought to my attention from this article on TechCrunch, which summarizes the API Guidelines in this way, “Or to put it more succinctly: authenticity.” You have to actually be at a location to check in. I can’t check in to a location in St. Louis if I am in Kansas City.
This is why the church should be more like Gowalla – connect real people in real places with a real God.