Inky Discovers Foursquare Two Years Too Late

If Philly's dailies are truly committed to digital innovation, they must learn how to cover technology

Last week, Philly Post contributor Steve Volk reported on new technology in the newsrooms at the Inquirer and Daily News. The media company installed large, flatscreen televisions to display real-time website analytics. The same day, news surfaced that the media company was making a bold, innovative move by selling Android tablets with their content already built in at a discount.

But if the company is so intent on moving forward digitally, why is the Inquirer printing idiotically out-of-touch stories about social media?

Yesterday, the Inky offered up a page-one feature on Foursquare, a social media application that allows users to check-in at local venues using their smartphones. Each check-in earns points, deals and quirky titles. Foursquare has been around for two years and has 10 million global users.

In other words: It’s not news.

Despite the fact that Foursquare announced cool, new partnerships with LivingSocial, Gilt City, Zozi, AT&T Interactive and BuyWithMe last week, the Inky article focuses on a handful of local Foursquare users and why they like using it. The piece includes no timely information about the social media application and reads like a Wikipedia entry on Philadelphians and Foursquare.

Interestingly, the web version of this story appeared without a single link to and contained no information for how interested readers could sign up for their own accounts.

For the Inky to cover this in such a prominent way makes the paper seem at best, out-of-touch and at worst, misinformed. While the paper may be able to track who is reading their stories online at any given second, they’re not doing anything to help their digital reputation.

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