I’m not the type to brag, but sometimes I’m pretty sure I’m a freakin genius. If nothing else you can mark me down as being good for tossing a solid idea or two out there now and then. Here’s one of those, and I think it may be up there with the best I’ve ever had.
If you’ve been on Twitter for any length of time, you’ve likely been driven nuts by folks who feel the need to incessantly check in on Foursquare whenever they go anywhere. If it doesn’t bother you, you’re part of the problem. I’m sorry, that’s just how this works. There’s no room for argument here. But anyway, these people are always polluting our timelines with I’m at my apartments and I’m at Mr. Subs and I’m at the bus stops and on and on and on, and it’s high time an end is put to it.
Last night, I had a dream. I have some pretty awesome dreams sometimes, but I tend to forget them almost immediately. Thankfully I remember this one vividly so I can get it down before life gets in the way and it fades into the distance.
Carin and I were at a planning meeting with some very smart software people. I think they may have been some of her coworkers, but I’m not sure. But the point is that we had come up with an app that would hopefully solve the problem of Foursquare oversharing. It was called Foursqueakerpaws. It was loosely named after somebody I see my friends mentioning on Twitter a lot but that I’ve never spoken a word to. I guess we needed something with the Foursq in it, and that’s what my brain came up with.
The way it was going to work was it would be covertly installed onto people’s smartphones, kind of like a keylogger or that police spying malware, only for purposes of good instead of evil. It would hook itself into the regular Foursquare app, and whenever the person would check in somewhere, it would change the data just a tiny bit.
For example, “I’m at My Place” would become something like “I’m at Hank’s House of Latex.” “I’m at Quiznos” would become “I’m at Happy Endings Massage.” “I’m at Bus Stop A” would be “I’m at Gay Gus’s Gargantuan Gay Man Toybox.” You get the idea. but while the names changed, the addresses would be real, so it would look like you lived at “Dan’s Discount Dildos.”
As the theory goes, over time, embarrassed and unable to fix it no matter how many times they uninstalled and reinstalled, people would give up on this Foursquare crap and leave the rest of us to enjoy Twitter in peace.
The only part I didn’t work out before I woke up laughing my head off was how to get this invaluable technology into the hands of the people who need it most. Let’s face it, they’re not going to willingly install it themselves. It’s going to have to be done for them, either by a concerned friend or loved one or by trickery and social engineering. I know smart people read this blog. Doing so is probably one of the few questionable decisions you make in your day to day lives. If you have any idea of how we could get around this issue or better yet, can code something to bring my vision to life, fire away. We’d love to hear from you. And by we, I of course mean every sane person on Twitter.