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This article was published on May 20, 2010

The Onion Eviscerates Foursquare, The New York Times

The Onion Eviscerates Foursquare, The New York Times
Alex Wilhelm
Story by

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

The Onion, while known for its biting humor, is not known for its meta discussion of technology startups and the coverage they receive. Indeed, they should be.

In a article written today entitled “New Social Networking Site Changing The Way Oh, Christ, Forget It,” the Onion opened a can of hell and dumped it all over the location company and the coverage that the New York Times has given it in the past.

From the article:

Launched last year, Foursquare is unique in that it not only allows users to broadcast their whereabouts, but also offers a number of built-in incentives, including some innovative new crap The New York Times surely has a throbbing hard-on for.

Yes, the Onion is rather excited about the little company that has captured the hearts and minds of the technology community. In short, we all use Foursquare, and that makes the Onion sick.

By “checking in,” users can earn tangible, real-world rewards. For instance, the Foursquare user with the most points at any given venue earns the designation of “mayor” and can receive discounts, free food, or other prizes that, quite honestly, we’re thoroughly disgusted with ourselves for having actually researched.

In addition, please, kill us already.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it seems that the Onion is a wee bit tired of communications products that are supposed to be  revolution. They seem to have faux-revolution-revulsion, if you will.

While millions of young, tech-savvy professionals already use services like Facebook and Twitter to keep in constant touch with friends, a new social networking platform called Foursquare has recently taken the oh, fucking hell, can’t some other desperate news outlet cover this crap instead?

Happily, we cover Foursquare here at TNW simply because most of us use it, and our readers love to hear about it. We keep tabs with the changes in technology, and Foursquare is defenitly doing something. What exactly, I am not sure. Perhaps given that my last check-in (of a total of 16, watch out) was last year, I might just be out of date.

The best point in the Onion’s article however was its discussion of the coverage that Foursquare has received, and perhaps the lack of critical thought that the it has been subjected to. We have been giving the company far too much of a free pass, and should get on with actually figuring out what, if anything, Foursquare is actually going change and do.

To close it off, the Onion knows exactly what it is talking about. This is why the newspapers are clinging to Foursquare: “Aging, scared newspapermen throw themselves at the latest mobile technology trend in a humiliatingly futile attempt to remain relevant.”

Isn’t that the truth. Surprising to hear it out of the Onion, but there it is.