Checking in image by Fibrogal6 on Photobucket

At the core of location-based services is the term check-in. The act of checking in using location-based applications can announce to your friends and/or social graph that you are physically present at a location. From there a business/location owner can reward you for visiting the location or by publicly announcing that you’re at a location your friends may join you. The location could instantly turn into a hot spot with more of your friends joining you in a matter of minutes. Now, take the same concept and apply it to websites.

With most static websites there’s very little interaction. You read information and if the information is valuable you may email a link to a friend and the only interaction the website owner may have with you is a cookie or IP address. If you have a blog there are a few ways to interact with your visitors. They can leave a comment, like a post via, Facebook or Disqus and if they share a link via Twitter or other social networking sites you can enable social backtracks to see who they are.

Now playing off the success of location-based apps a new wave of web applications have launched or either added features to enable site visitors to check into your website. Some are calling it participation engine or add game mechanics to your website and others saying turn your visitors into loyal fans. Either way, here are seven web applications to allow your website visitors to check-in.

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1. Badgeville

2. OneTrueFan

3. Meebo check-in bar

4. Marginize

5. Bigdoor

6. bunchball

7. Reputely

Bonus: You could create a location for your blog using TriOut World, give it a QR Code and let people scan the QR Code to check-in. For super geeks only. #TriOutShamelessplug

You may be wondering why would anyone want to check into a website? I’m sure the same question was asked four or five years ago about using a mobile device and checking into a businesses. By offering a way for visitors to check-in to your website or blog provides a way for you to reward them with badges, points and can increase time spent along with social sharing. Just like with a few popular location-based applications these platforms are building on the success of adding game mechanics to increase visitor loyalty and engagement. There’s always talk about moving beyond the check-in and rewarding customers, in this case you could reward your visitors if they check into your website or blog.

OneTrueFan - @jodiontheweb - socialwayne.com

I’m currently using OneTrueFan on SocialWayne.com via hat tip to LouisGray. Have you check into a website or blog before? Would you add a check-in bar to your website or do you think the whole idea of checking into a website is lame?

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