|A popular trend for social networks is to offer badges or stickers for members to collect.
The year was 1980 and I collected stickers just for the sake of collecting stickers. I had a whole album full of puffy ones. Something about the artwork...I dunno, I just liked looking at them, and had a collector's drive to get more.
Maybe there's a parallel here today, foursquare is a game that gives badges to members as they check in to new locations. I've noticed getglue.com does the same thing, following the trend, and exposing popular movies and books with a new medium.
These digital stickers mean nothing to us. They don't make us more famous, or richer. I suppose some fame comes with being the mayor of a popular venue. Then again my sticker collection was just feeding that drive to collect. It actually made me poorer, as I had to buy the stickers in the 80s.
These new social networking loyalty reward sites are attracting members quickly. I still question the real value to the member. Look at hugely successful loyalty programs like air miles, aeroplan miles, and the like. They offer something for all those points(stickers) = free air travel. Now that's something I gladly do each time I get gas. In a way I'm checking in my purchase for an exchange of points that I can later CASH in.
On a sidenote, I've recently joined foursquare to test our soon to be released ScreenScape foursquare widget. We think ScreenScape complements foursquare inside the venue perfectly. In fact it closes the mobile loop, allowing for visibility into the activity to the general public. Foursquare allows a social network of customers to check in, and ScreenScape broadcasts the activity on a public display, creating even more awareness for foursquare - which in turn should increase participation.
If you are interested in beta testing the foursquare widget in your venue. Friend ScreenScape on foursquare.
Oops I gotta go check in, lunch is about over.