Something's very wrong with the servers at mobile check-in start-up Foursquare, which had experienced problems on Monday morning and then ultimately crashed altogether and hadn't been resuscitated as of 8:00 p.m. PT.
Reached via e-mail, one of Foursquare's executives said the company was not yet willing to disclose the cause of the outage but promised that a postmortem blog post would explain the situation when it had been mitigated.
Yesterday morning, thousands of New York-based users of geolocation service Foursquare received a "check-in" that had nothing to do with a friend announcing her presence at a Starbucks or a co-worker logging a breakfast meeting in midtown: It was a news alert from The Wall Street Journal, informing them that Metro-North commuter rail service was suspended due to a fire on a bridge over the Harlem River.
If you were, say, a Philadelphia-based Foursquare user who "followed" The Wall Street Journal account, you wouldn't have received the alert. Nor would it have shown up on … Read more
A few months before its five ski resorts open for the season, the Colorado-based Vail Resorts has unveiled a preview of something called Epic Mix, a set of Web and mobile apps based on skiers' activity as logged by radio frequency (RF) readers around its resorts.
It'll go live when the first of Vail's resorts, Keystone, opens for the season in early November. Vail Resorts' season passes and lift tickets are already RF-enabled, but with Epic Mix, interested skiers can unlock "pins" in the manner of Foursquare badges, get ranked on a vertical-feet leaderboard, post all manner of ski-related updates to Facebook and Twitter, and--via a mobile app--see their friends' activity on the slopes in real time so that it gets way easier to meet up for beers at the lodge. There's also a kid-oriented site for children under 13, which limits sharing to the kids' parents and has its own set of kid-friendly pins.
A skier can turn off RF functionality entirely if he or she so chooses, the company explained.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said in a New York press event Monday that the company had ruled out partnerships with existing "check-in" companies, or an emulation of those services, because of the fact that he said they did not want to require any additional behavior to participate--"We don't think that works while you're on vacation," he said.
Topguest, which aims to partner with hotel chains, restaurants, airports, and other travel- and hospitality-related venues to power rewards programs for frequent customers, now counts Facebook Places among the check-in services that it aggregates. It joins the likes of Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, and Yelp.
Topguest CEO Geoff Lewis told CNET that the start-up was able to launch Facebook Places integration so quickly simply because … Read more
There was something very much in the vein of Utopian science-fiction fantasies to Facebook's announcement of "Places," its location-based "check-in" product that it launched on Wednesday night. (CNET was the first to report its impending debut last week.) In short, Facebook not only wants to be the digital sovereignty toward which all other geolocation apps direct their figurative roads, it also wants to be the Web's own omniscient historian.
"Too many of our human stories are still collecting dust on the shelves of our collections at home," Facebook vice president of product … Read more
The long-rumored geolocation "check-in" feature at Facebook is slated to debut within weeks, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNET.
It's going to take the form of an application programming interface (API) for third-party companies on the Facebook developer platform, integrating existing "check-in" start-ups more deeply into the massive social-networking service and in turn permitting location-aware data to become a part of existing platform applications.
Facebook declined to provide much detail. "We are working on location features and product integrations, which we'll be launching in the coming months, and we'll share … Read more
Despite the press, geolocation service Foursquare is still pretty small. But it's proven influential in another way: the phenomenon of "checking in" has spread beyond telling people where you are, and a handful of services now focus on letting you "check in" to what you're doing--whether it's attending a concert or reading one of those ubiquitous Stieg Larsson novels.
One of them, GetGlue, announced Wednesday a partnership with HBO to promote its current series "True Blood," "Hung," and "Entourage," in which users who use the GetGlue iPhone … Read more
A start-up called Topguest is aiming to take the wild assortment of location-based "check-in" services out there and turn them into something a little more familiar: hotel and travel reward points. The company, which launched Thursday amid the craziness of Internet Week New York, is currently in a "preview" version that consists of a partnership with the trendy Andre Balazs-helmed Standard Hotels chain.
Here's how it works. Topguest users sign up and then connect any number of location-based social media services--Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite, Yelp, and Google Latitude for now. Most of it is handled … Read more
Foursquare is still looking into the issue, co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai told CNET. Namely, they aren't sure whether this will be a permanent block or temporary. But it appears to be linked to the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the 1989 incident in which the Chinese military … Read more