Check out volunteer check-ins

If you have a smartphone you may have tried some of the location-based social games that have been gaining in popularity over the past year.

If so you've probably heard of either Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places. These games or applications work by using the phone's built in GPS. You simply use one of these phone apps to search for places nearby to your current position, you find the place you are at and then you "check-in". Your check-in indicates you are at that location and you can add a comment, or tip, or maybe a photo. Your check-in can then be seen by your friends. Some of the services offer virtual badges or pins which rack up each time you check-in to a location.

Why? I hear you cry. Well, for a start it might be useful for hooking up with friends - for instance you check into a local coffee shop and post a message asking if anyone else is in the area and fancies catching up for twenty minutes over coffee.

Businesses are already catching on to this trend and offering discounts or other rewards for those that have the most check-ins at a venue. It's no wonder then that the charity world is starting to think if there could be a non-profit use, a Check-in for good. Much like the continuing developments in the related concept of micro-volunteering it's a space worth watching.

How about adding volunteering tips to a venue? Or volunteering opportunites set up so when you arrive to volunteer you check-in and gain some kind of recognition for doing it.

Do you already use a location based app? Would you use a location based volunteering app? Let me know what you think by taking part in the poll below.

Maybe you have your own exciting idea for how location based games or services could help vounteering?...