This past weekend me and my wife went away to help our daughter with her move. I’ve been using Four Square for her for her business for some time now, but she hasn’t played with it all that much. She decided to check it out more in depth and found out she could obtain points, stickers, and there was a ranking. Needless to say that whenever you add in any/all of those components for a sales types of person . . . there in. It became this game for us all weekend and beyond, and . . . I am now losing. She cheats a bit at it too by the way. Anyway, there is a fun aspect to ‘checking in’ at various places but there is a great promotional aspect to the function as well and that’s what we’ll focus on here.
The ‘Check In’ feature on social networks has become more and more popular. Some services have it as the primary function of the service such as Four Square (checking in at actual places you visit), Gowalla, or GetGlue (checking in to media such as TV shows, movies, books, etc.). Others like Facebook and Google+ add it as a secondary feature to the overall service. When ‘checking in’ on these services you can then set it out to announce your ‘check in’ on other services such as Twitter.
So why would one want to ‘check in’ at church? The feature not only announces where you are, but it serves to promote the place too and helps to raise awareness. This is by far an often overlooked aspect of this type of social sharing on the web today especially when it comes to Christianity. By ‘checking in’ you are promoting your parish community. When many are doing this, the promotion is obviously expanded. You may not initially find your parish listed on these services, but that is ok. It takes just one user to add it and the entry takes just a few minutes.
You can enhance the ‘check in’ as well by adding comments and/or photos. So maybe you ‘check in’ and add the citations for the weekly readings in the comments. Take a photo of that beautiful worship space in your Church and attach it. All BEFORE Mass begins by the way. Maybe your ‘check in’ might actually touch someone who is ‘on the fence’ and you helped raise awareness for them.
What are your thoughts?