The recent article by Kelroy entitled FourSquare Introduces expertise badges that level raises some exciting possibilities that make it worth my while to bang out a short one page note. For those who came late, FourSquare hit the ten million (10,000,000) mark in June 20th 2011AD. They took only two (2) years since launch to achieve that milestone since launching at the SXSW Event in San Francisco back in 2009AD, impressive for any Social Networking start-up. Now, nearly 1 in 5 persons use a LBS, be it Gowalla, Loopt or FourSquare based on the analyst ComScore in earlier May 2011AD.
The table makes for an interesting breakdown for the statistically inclined, as this demonstrates the highest percentage of users are those of us with real smartphones as which more people are opting to have as opined in 30% Blackberry Blackout by Corporate and Enterprise – Bring Your Favourite Gear. Not to mention the wherewithal to afford their onerous monthly two (2) years subscriptions in this Recession Battered US Economy.
It not only is an indication of the coming popularity of LBS (Location Base Services) but also indicates people are a lot less concerned about their whereabouts being known, so long as the service is good and the security is great. AT&T took a dip into this potential money making pool with ShopAlerts as noted in my article AT&T ShopAlerts and BB for everyone. Getting discounts from American Express certainly helps. But the recent addition of an Expert Badges raises the possibility that FourSquare may actually yet be using this new badge to launch a live expert-based system in the future.
After all, what the use of a badge for being smart if declaring your genius on any social network earns you no cheddar? FourSquare thus, may soon implement a system by which such persons can be rewarded for being too clever for their own good by allowing messaging on the platform to be monetized. Yes, you hear me right. As in Cash for being smart. Better than Cash-For gold trade in Jamaica anyday!
New that should make many an idle Degree holder out of work in Jamaica start brushing up on their studies so that they can make money at home for just answering questions on their topic of expertise. This can be easily done by via contextual advertising inserted within the messaging while the expert-badge wieldier answers questions live in a demonstration of his knowledge.
Additionally, FourSquare can create tiers of knowledge, with persons having documents and credentials scanned and uploaded to back up their Expert Badge designation i.e. Degree, PhD’s. Paid via their Credit, Debit Cards tied to their PayPal Accounts for having us probe their brain via messaging them questions.
Somewhat like Yahoo! Questions, but you are a real certified know-it-all and you get paid for you knowledge. Throw in the LBS element, and people can even arrange to meet with you at one of the places where you are the Mayor so you can really dine on his Cerebellum. That’s pulling rank on the smarty pants!
Metered calls could also be thrown in the mix, the real bread-and-butter with monthly subscriptions from persons who want expert knowledge from people who should know. This once FourSquare makes the proper partnerships with the relevant Telecom Providers in theUSmainland and Internationally, with the Expert getting his cut for being such a brainiac.
Badges are fun on FourSquare. Really fun.
But for the academically gifted Foursquare may in the future be a source of monetizing that which sits idle in the active lobes of your larger-than-normal brain for those with more than just a desire to find the trendy and happening hotspots on their smartphones.
Coming soon folks!!!!
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