The downside of many location-aware mobile apps is that they tend to serve only as fuel for the "look at me" aspect of the social web. One of my Tweep's coined a great term for this trend: "geonarcissism."
Unlike other location-based social networks that put the focus on 'You', CauseWorld provides their community with an opportunity to focus on doing good, funding social change and benefiting others all with a few clicks (or taps) on their phone.
Here's how it works. All you need to do is walk into one of the many stores you most likely frequent anyway, such as common groceries, hardware stores, department stores, and many others. Pull out your phone, open the app, and check in. No purchase is required. When you 'check in' you earn "Karma Points."
Your 'Karma Points' can then be converted into real dollars and donated, thanks to corporate sponsors Kraft Foods & Citi, to nine potential causes including Support A Classroom, Give Clean Water, Donate A Book or Provide Relief for Haiti. The CauseWorld community has already earned $6 million Karma's for Haiti. Like other location-aware games, you also earn badges for your 'Karma.'
This is also a perfect example of how brands can combine current trends like location-aware games, social media, cause marketing and mobile devices to deliver a unified experience for their customers.