I don't really consider myself a geek or anytype of cutting edge guy, but i have enjoyed foursquare from very early on. Back in August 2009, i found myself looking over the apps market at the new stuff coming over from the USA and of course foursquare, gowalla etc. was the buzz. It was 4sqr that caught my eye. I never really got into the mayor chasing game but did like the idea of seeing where the crowdsourcing data was telling me where people had been or where they are now. I still envisage in London on a Friday night you could pull up 4sqr and see which places where trending as this would then be the place to go or you go elsewhere for a quiet night this for me is good data.
I had been more interested in the thought that a simple app for checking in could change your pattern of behavior. It took nearly a year for me to change my behavior to get a badge but this is exactly what happened.
On a recent trip to the states, i was going to have to change somewhere to get an internal flight, so checking for best / cheapest route there was 4 options but 1 option was to change at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) which was not going to take any more time but was going to cost me £17 more. But wait. I had read somewhere that this airport is the busiest in the world and you always get a swarm badge (50 checkin), so guess what i did, i changed my behaviour and flew into Atlanta.
And here we have my 1 checkin and the huge amount of nearly 70,000 other checkin's. I did'nt get a slap on the back and a well done son praise, I had'nt actually achieved anything but i reackon if all of the 102 people who had checked in and got the swarm badge where together, it would have created a small and unique place in time for all participants and maybe some hand shaking, back slapping and hugs would have been the order of the day.
So on the next leg of my journey i started writing down my thoughts on how would you create a superswarm. In the next few blog posts i will break down my thinking.