Published in the Los Angeles Times
This article was the lead story on the front page of the Los Angeles Times website:
In early May, Mark Ghuneim was sitting in his hotel room at the Four Seasons near Beverly Hills. He discovered, via his iPhone's Foursquare app, that a friend was at the Echo, a concert venue in Echo Park about eight miles away, about to watch a concert. "I'm realizing that even if I got in my car and drove there right now, I'd miss the set," he said.
At that moment, Ghuneim did not find Foursquare as useful as some of its 1 million users do. Location-based services are the hot new form of social networking, allowing users to tell their friends where they are and what they think of that place. Loopt has more than 3 million users and MyTown has more than 2 million, while Twitter and Google also have location-based features.
But as Ghuneim discovered, these services might not be an ideal fit for Los Angeles, a city that has always had anxiety when it comes to locations. Angelenos tend to spend too much time in a location we don't want to be, driving to a location we're trying to reach, along with a bunch of other people fighting to do the same. The city's spread-out geography and car dependence might make it particularly inhospitable to the spontaneity that these services thrive on.