checking in

There Should Be a Gay Pride Badge on Foursquare (And Tech’s Other Missed Opportunities)

This time last year we noted the Google v. Yahoo showdown as each search giant tried showing off their pride colors in different ways. While Google spat out a rainbow-colored line when users searched for things like “gay” or “lgbt,” Yahoo had a whole pride section for you ‘mos. We also checked the search engines Bing,, Mahalo, and Wolfram|Alpha to see if they were doing anything especially prideful with their search queries, and just like last year the answer is a resounding No. That’s too bad, because these are some major missed marketing opportunities. I can appreciate Google’s decision to go subtle, and Yahoo’s devoting a whole section to gay pride each year, but it’s the fancier and more agile web players that I’m most disappointed in.

While Twitter is beginning to embed ads in its search results, searching for “gay” or “lgbt” doesn’t change the outcome. Not even a rainbow-hued Twitter logo for the masses.

Facebook has nothing to offer. Searches for “gay pride” this month bring up a standard list of fan pages and groups.

And searching for “gay pride” on Fabulis, the newest gay kid on the block, brings up just one search result. Isn’t this site supposed to be your calendar for all things gay events?

Perhaps the biggest opportunity missed is with Foursquare, the GPS-based check-in service, which creates “badges” for seemingly everything (going to the Banksy movie; traveling above Chelsea in NYC; drinking a lot of Starbucks). Where’s the badge for checking in at a gay pride parade? (I have the same question for competing service Gowalla.) Foursquare’s founders love when a whole slew of users congregate at a single event, “checking in” en masse. Not only would updating your location at a gay pride parade earn you the Swarm Badge, but a Gay Pride Badge as well. Unless there is one already, and my iPhone is being discriminated against?

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