Foursquare vs. Gowalla, an Experiement
I am obsessed with the potential that LBS solutions pose. I can see clearly how applications such as Foursquare and Gowalla have an underlying power beyond gaming, and I am excited about the synergies with what we are creating at TaskRabbit as well.
Since Foursquare and Gowalla seem to be neck and neck, I realized that our cross country drive, will give me a unique opportunity to assess the scale of each product. I’ll be passing through over 3,000 miles of highway, stopping off at major metropolitan areas such as Nashville (for my sis’ wedding!), St. Louis, Denver, Salt Lake City, etc. Not to mention all the tinier places and rest stops along the way – maybe even a giant ball of string or two.
So here’s my plan. At each stop, when I have the unmanageable urge to check in and get a new badge, become a founder, or pick up a virtual taco, I will do so on 2 applications – 4sq & Gowalla. At each point, I’ll measure how many other people have checked in at that location and in the end, I should be able to tell who has the better reach across the country over all.
You can follow my experiment on twitter, as I push out my checkins and updated stats along the way. There are obvious differences between the two products, so this will just measure the amount of scale and reach these applications have across the nation. I personally have a favorite, and would love to hear your thoughts as well.