The interesting thing about the geolocation space right now is that everybody senses the huge opportunity for location based marketing.
This week at TWTRCONF, the subject was debated by: Foursquare Dennis Crowley, Gowalla Josh Williams and SimpleGeo Matt Galligan. Yet no clear outcome as "Galligan admitted that the industry was going through a 'Wild West' period, and that it would be some time before the sector’s conceptual foundations and technical know-how shake down into an equilibrium" (kudos to Jesse Stanchak at SmartBlogs for capturing this).
We're not there yet, but part of the solution lies in the ability to improve the signal over noise ratio. Push marketing has been mentioned a lot as a monetization channel since the availability of geolocation became mainstream with smart phone. But it can't just be turned on because users would be bombarded by ads from every single shop they walk nearby. And asking users to manually follow specific brands as a way to filter push marketing simply isn't a scalable solution. When you walk in a high street or city centre with 100 shops, you might be likely to shop at any given time in only 10% of them. And on a specific day and specific time, maybe 1 or 2 of them.
Behavioural understanding of places people might like is a way to deal with improving the signal over noise ratio. And information like checkins is one possible source of data for this.
Having the ability to predict places one might like is a marketer's dream. Geolocation alone isn't enough, but geolocation + personalization might well be the answer, because your chances of conversion are of a different order all together. One might say that if done really well (predicting the right places), you might even start considering push mktg as a feasible option (as signal/noise ratio will be good enough).
Cloud based recommendation engine for locations is what we do at www.LikeCube.com.
So if you are a web/mobile app capturing user location and want to experience these benefits, give use a call.