When you look back, how stupid were we? Social Media was new, Location was new. All experts looked at it, said oh and ah… And we thought it was a product. We put it in boxes. We branded it with shiny, expensive labels. We turned it into Powerpoints from hell, with graphics in screaming colors, and way too many buzz words.
But, with hindsight, the industry just got it dead wrong. See, location is not a product. It’s nothing you can sell or promote. Places are places. Dots on a map, there is nothing sexy, exciting, sharable and social. Location is about where people are. What people do. How people share. Location is not a product. It is a feature; it is a way of life.
Productizing location does not work. The social consumer needs to feel that location brings him added value. In the case of navigation, that added value is simple and immediate: it brings you where you have to be. In the case of social sharing, education is needed to show the consumer the benefit. But the consumer gets it fast. Checking in is an active do-thing, but the pay-off is potentially huge: with peer reviews, and tips from the community, the environment becomes instantly social savvy. Information about the environment in turn for a check-in: Is the food good? The waiters friendly? The bed sheets clean? The drinks cold? Rooms available? Do they accept your favorite credit cards? And… most importantly, are any of your friends there?
With a clear pay-off (contextual information), location becomes a feature, something people use because it is useful. Location becomes social currency, so does location based information. We are social objects moving in a social environment. Location is part of the social interaction, part of life.
“I am somewhere, therefor I exist”, that’s true, William Shakespeare!