Read Write Web wrote a piece a while back about check in dying in 2011. I think that they were mostly right but the best quote is a bit off. They said that the checkin is “going the way of the 8-track tape” but that seems a bit harsh.
My belief is that the check in is actually a transitional behavior like the I-Pod was a transitional technology. One could argue that the I-Phone would not be here if the new behaviors and interactions were not tested and iterated on the I-Pod. The Palm was doing similar work from the phone angle but Steve Jobs won the battle of technology with the one super device that everybody else wants and now conforms to.
Checkins were an interesting thing and the first people were crazed power users who loved being mayor or showing off. This was similar to somebody who had all their CDs on the I-pod day one. This is quite different than the casual user who now has a phone for some music but also apps and other functions. People will use location based checkins in new ways in 2011 and we will see what the casual user finds valuable.
I can tell you that I won’t play a game or broadcast but I might tell you I am visiting a venue if you provide me something of value. Once in a while I agree with Dave McClure and this is one of those times. See his post on checkins for coupons.
Looking at the future I am not exactly sure what the location and venue behavior is surrounding smart phones but we have a few ideas.