I’m not really sure how I ended up at this panel. I was in a line and in a seat before I realized it was a discussion with Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare. The thing is, I don’t use Foursquare. I never liked the idea of checking in at every place I went and I especially didn’t like the idea of telling people where I was all the time. But then Mr. Crowley dropped some knowledge on me.

The thing about Foursquare is that there is so much more to it than just checking in, getting badges, and becoming Mayor of your garage. The beauty of the app is that it is gathering tons of data on what you are doing and, more importantly, what you love.

Dennis has a vision for your future. Apparently they have mind-blowing amounts of data on people. They know, for example, that one time two years ago you enjoyed a beautiful sunset in Colorado from a certain patio. Next time you visit Colorado, Foursquare might pop up and say “Hey pal, don’t forget to enjoy a sunset at such-n-such bar.” And maybe you have a friend who lives there. Foursquare could let you know that you haven’t caught up with said friend for a few months and recommend inviting him along. This sounds like a mix of awesome and creepy. I love the idea of a reminder to go back to my favorite place, but not sure I want Foursquare telling me to catch up with old friends.

Of course the other appealing side of Foursquare is custom tailored recommendations. Dennis and his team know you liked this and that and this, so here is another place you would probably like.

In the end, I might be downloading an app I’ve been specifically avoiding. I still plan on keeping my check-ins private (sorry stalkers), but I like the idea of recommendations tailored specifically by my previous experiences. Thanks Dennis Crowley. And good job making your stuff sound cool.

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