One highlight of my recent trip across the pond, was a foursquare badge offer to check-in at 30,000 feet. Many might say… what’s the big deal about checking in at 30,000 feet or getting a virtual badge, the only purpose of which is to say you did so.
What’s more? Neither inflight wifi nor the thought of checking in on foursquare in mid air are new ideas. But Foursquare implemented a nice trick that offers a 30,000 feet location to check into but that in fact puts you geographically in San Diego airport, my point of departure.
The marketing drive behind it is a clever way for the inflight wifi provider, Gogo, to brag about the coolness of remaining connected at that altitude, at the speed of sound. This, in the hopes to make you fork up the $7.95 it costs for the privilege to get a midair connection and enter via the check-in, what they’re calling, tongue in cheek, the “mile high club”. Gogo is doing good to ride the wave while it’s fresh, that coolness will turn into a commodity sooner than it would like.
On a side note: although the Foursquare/Gogo scheme is clever and does open the door to some great ideas to be implemented in other contexts, I still don’t see this as the long awaited Foursquare core business model. Do you?
But back to my experience… As I was frantically jumping on the opportunity to grab the special virtual badge, I started thinking of the reasons for my motivation. There is definitely the bragging rights aspect of it, but bragging about what really? Could it be as simple as “I did it!”?
I think the immediate equivalent to the modern check-in could be explained by the same reasons that drove prehistoric drawings on cave walls or lovers to carve their names on trees or movie stars to imprint fresh concrete with their hands and feet. All together, claiming a territory, allowing others to identify with them and in effect, immortalizing an image of themselves.
One things is for sure, just as us humans haven’t stopped at painting cave walls, carving trees or printing concrete; excluding the recent one and only space check-in, mid air will certainly not constitute the last frontier for check-ins for the rest of us. Did I ever tell you we’re living extraordinary times?
Can you think of other ideas or reasons that drive check-ins? Let me know below in the comments section.