The value of pre check-in services

A few weeks ago, I saw an email chain flying amongst my friends. It was “what are you up to on Friday night?” and “where will we meet you?”.  Locations, venues and times were being scattered all over the interwebs. The fundamental problem was meeting up at a similar time during the night, essentially a co-ordination problem as everyone has their own agenda.

As I have gotten older and the use of mobile phones have become more prevalent, there’s a culture of I’m out and about, I’ll give you a call and see where you are. I might have an approximate idea from an earlier conversation of where my friends are. But there’s no guarantee that I’ll stay there because I’ll see where the night takes me. We have more opportunities, more friends and more venues to visit.

An application like Foursquare / Gowalla tells you where you friends are when they have arrived and they decide to check-in. You can also see who else is at the venue. It’s great as post check-in data. However, you don’t know if your friend has left the building and moved on, and where they might be heading.

It would be *fantastic* if you could do a pre-checkin into a venue using a service like Plancast.

This could prove quite stalkerish intrusive, however hear me out.

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