Foursquare and Gowalla are continously improving and updating their services. Latest news:
Foursquare is cracking down on cheaters. If your phone’s GPS determines that you’re not close to where you want to check in, you are not rewarded any points or mayorships.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with my iPhone, it won’t let me check into my Office, even though I am sitting in it. Looking at Google Maps, though, it seems that my GPS does indeed place me correctly.
This is a good move nevertheless. In the last month during my trip to Thailand I could well check into locations here in Hamburg whenever I wanted, enabling me to keep up the battle for the mayorship of your office here…
Gowalla in the meantime adds realtime feeds and activity streams based on the PubSubHubbub protocoll. This should enbale much more interesting mashup opportunities (since it is apparently faster than the user-specific RSS feeds that Foursquare uses). If this is the case it could yield an important differentiator for Gowalla, which to me seems to desparatly need something to effectively compete with the larger competitor Foursquare.
Heineken in the Netherlands has launched a new advergame which looks interesting. The game asks playes to spot and track the delivery men of Heineken around the Netherlands and find out what their next stop will be. Whoever guesses correctly first, gets the chance to win a Nokia phone. So in a way, this game play is not that complicated or creative.
What I admire, is something completely different: Apparantly, these delivery men are tracked in real time with real journey data, during the regular working hours. And this is remarkable. I have also worked for clients with a huge fleet of delivery vehicles and I do appreciate the fact that Heineken managed to include their drivers into this game. Creatives usually come up easily with lots of brilliant ideas how to connect the mobile workforce of a client with a webpage via all sorts of mobile devices like phones or GPS tracking devices. But organisational reality most of the time kills these ideas.
So this won’t have been easy to push through the internal, most likely rather political, approval and commitment chain in order to get the buy in of all the different departments (marketing, distribution, logistics, etc.). Kudos, I like that.