Texas Takes Second In Gowalla Contest

In these tough budgetary times, UT came oh-so-close to winning $10,000 for the tech-savviness of its students.

The University placed second in Gowalla’s “AP Top 25 Check-In Challenge.” The top prize went to University of Houston, which applied the money to its general scholarship fund.

And just what does a check-in challenge entail?

Gowalla, an Austin-based social networking company, uses GPS to allow users to “check in” and report their whereabouts virtually everywhere. The object was to log the most campus check-ins; UT came away with 5,223, topping third-place Baylor’s 2,841.

Gowalla is the archrival of the other location-based check-in service, Foursquare. Both companies launched right here at South by Southwest Interactive a couple years back. The competition ever since has been fast and furious.

Gowalla tends to dominate its home city, while Foursquare dominates its base of New York. And that makes some sense given that the top three finishers of Gowalla’s contest were in Texas.

It’ll be interesting to see the tech war play out. (Are we looking at another epic MySpace vs. Facebook showdown?) Regardless of which company wins the war, UT could definitely put that scholarship money to good use. Next time, Longhorns, next time!


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