4stalk: A Beneficial Location-Based Service

Submitted by tomo on November 20, 2010 - 3:05pm

Location-based services, FourSquare and its clones are everywhere. China (where I guess 4sq is blocked anyways) has already produced a number of 4sq clones. I know of at least two 4sq clones or location-based services operating in Vietnam (shout out to friends at go100). And earlier this year Koprol, an Indonesian FourSquare-ish LBS was acquired by Yahoo.

But the number of stores and restaurants offering actual benefits to users repeatedly checking in... is less than the number of competing websites where you can check-in to them.

So I'd like to propose a new type of location-based service, one with real benefits. Let's call it 4stalk.

[Editors: Not FourStalk or ForeStalk but 4stalk.]

With 4stalk, you don't check-in your location. You check-in somebody else's location. Or where you think somebody else is about to go. 4stalk is the perfect tool for stalking. And forestalking.

stalk (v):
to follow stealthily or recur constantly and spontaneously
forestalk (v):
to stealthily gather information on a target in order to stalk them

(With 4stalk, you needn't concern yourself with privacy issues. There are no privacy settings to worry about and anyways we won't ask for any of your personal information. There's really no good reason for us to have it.)

4stalk works by integrating your FourSquare/Gowalla/etc feeds with everybody else's, and by users checking in any sightings or insights into the future location of anybody they know or kind of know. Over time, the system will also predict where people will be based on how habitually they check-in.

The target market:

Stalkers: They would love this and we could build game mechanics into the site to get various stalker badges.

Paparazzi: These guys would certainly pay for celebrity sightings and fore-check-ins. We would sell to the highest bidders.

Jealous spouses: That's strange, your husband and my wife just checked in to the same love hotel....

And for most people, 4stalk will make it possible for you to follow people you don't actually know but think are cool. You can spontaneously keep running into them.

As with any game-changing new technology such as this, we can't predict all its creative uses or where the product will ultimately go. But we do hope to predict where you'll go this afternoon.

See also: Future For FourSquare

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