In just over one short year Foursquare, a location based, mobile driven social networking site caught fire in over one hundred metropolitan areas, quickly generating as many as one million users. Today, it's a worldwide service catching the eye of Yahoo! and a reputed offer of $125 million for the service.

Is Foursquare just another novel use of social networking that will fade away in a couple of years? What benefits does the service provide its users? Why bother?

Foursquare may just be another application searching for a user base but is, despite its somewhat hokey attempt at gaming, providing useful localized information on a variety of venues.

A user for several months now I can see the potential for the service .... as long as the founders recognize the need to limit input to useful information.

It needs to clean up its act a bit.

Awarding "badges" may be cute, but it just becomes an annoying "side dish". As users "check in" to venues they visit, the service then posts the venue for all to see. Not limited to restaurants or retail venues, there are "check-ins" for street corners, user apartments, etc. .... a sort of wild west listing with some offering no redeeming value.

The tie to the mobile ecosystem offering mobile "coupons" is the key to Foursquare's success. Building an opt-in mobile database will secure their future as they tie themselves to venues focused on local advertising and build relationships with online and offline media industry partners.

With a little clean up and smart strategic positioning I would give Foursquare a better chance of long-term survival and success than Facebook.

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