What the heck is FourSquare?


I finally signed up for FourSquare. I’m not talking about the game you used to play in middle school. 

I have to admit I’ve been resisting FourSquare. The thought of it made me think stalker… but I have to say it is fun and is making me want to get out more just so I can check in. It’s kind of addicting. I mean I checked in at 7-11 last night just to announce I was buying Cherry Garcia Ice Cream at 11pm.  FourSquare is one of the newer players to the Social Networking scene. Actually, it has been around for a little over a year but it is just now starting to really gain momentum.

This is how FourSquare defines themselves:

What is FourSquare?
foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things.  We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.

Many of you who are local Bay Area Twitter users are probably familiar with @SFDoug.  He’s been using FourSquare for quite some time. We have fun watching where he checks in. Watching @SFDoug on Twitter reminds me of the book Where’s Waldo. @MomNTwins (another local Twitter user) son actually asked “where is SFDoug now mom?

So I finally joined Four Square. I resisted but I decided to go for it. The program actually complements my Sally Around The Bay blog nicely so I really have no excuse for resisting. I can now check in everywhere I go to when I’m sallying around the bay. While I’m making confessions, I have to admit I also resisted Facebook for a long time. I didn’t want to let go of MySpace. I was kind of like Craig in this video.

The world of Social Networking is an ever changing and evolving thing. It’s important to be flexible and willing to try new things when participating in social networking. It takes some of us longer than others. In order to grow in life we have to step out of our comfort zone.

By the way, I’m seeing endless potential with FourSquare. This week I was at a Café in San Francisco and when I checked in FourSquare told me there was a special nearby, I clicked on that special and it told me the bar neabry was offering a free cocktail to anyone that came in, checked in and showed them. If it weren’t 12 noon and I wasn’t on my way to a meeting I might have gone over to that bar and checked in just for the fun of it. If it were not for FourSquare I would not even have known that bar existed.

I can’t wait to start working on FourSquare with my current clients!

I’m still learning all the ins and outs of FourSquare. I’ve learned you can win badges for going to one place the most. For instance if I go to the Golden Gate Bridge more than anyone else on FourSquare I get the title Mayor of the Golden Gate Bridge. Imagine how this could benefit businesses like restaurants. Restaurants could offer a free meal to whoever becomes the mayor of their restaurant for a day.

People are by nature competitive so many of the people using FourSquare will want to be the Mayor and this could influence their decision in which restaurant to go to tonight. Say Jane only needed to go to her local favorite restaurant one more time to be the Mayor… she and her hubby were trying to decide where to eat tonight… Jane might think hmmm if I go to my favorite local restaurant tonight I just might become the Mayor. Guess where Jane and hubby are going for dinner tonight?

Restaurants can really benefit by being aware and participating in social networking conversations. The problem is most restaurants are too busy to take the time to learn how to use all the new programs… that is where I come in. 😉

12 thoughts on “What the heck is FourSquare?

  1. Peggy Butler

    I like it that you can now selectively post to Twitter or Facebook via Foursquare because, let’s face it, sometimes those posts can get a bit annoying (but not yours, Sally…we want to know where you are at all times!). I’ll post to Twitter if I’m at the Farmers Market, for example, just in case another Twitter friend is there and happens to be walking around reading their timeline while shopping for produce…then they can try to find me! Or if I’m at a really cool restaurant, and just want to impress you, I’ll post it to Twitter. 😉

    Recently when I went to Tahoe I decided not to check in on Foursquare. Sometimes we do have to worry about security, I think. There have been news stories about people being robbed because of this…

    I agree with you, Foursquare is pretty fun. I like it when I become the Mayor of a business and I get a little bummed when someone steals that Mayorship away! We really should get a life…

  2. Dusty

    I’m not crazy about telling people where I’m at. Now, I don’t have a problem talking about a restuarant or business that I previously visited but to check in at that moment, I’ll pass.

  3. Sally Post author

    It’s important to note you don’t have to check in – you choose when and where to check in.

    Dusty you could always check in to the restaurant as you are leaving… that way you’ll be gone by the time anyone gets there. 😉

    Peggy – Yes it is definitely a program we all need to be smart and cautious with. If you are out of town you may not want to announce it to the world… if you do make sure to first announce people are still staying at your house taking care of your big mean ferocious dog.

    I stumbled upon this blog post by @JesyHerron where she actually talks about being cautious:
    http://jesyisms.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/what-the-heck-is-foursquare/ and brings up the site called Please Rob Me. It’s a brave new world we are walking blindly in to.

  4. Candy Beauchamp

    I don’t post to FaceBook or Twitter (although I reserve the right to if I think it’s something cool) and I only accept people as friends I know pretty well. The reason isn’t because I think someone will rob my house (dude, it’s insured and has a damn good alarm system), but because if I have too many friends I have less of a chance of noticing something they say or do – or if we are checked in the same place nearby. I’ve had some random people request me. Um. No. Who the heck are you and why do you care where I am? I do leave tips, to-dos and stuff. I’m also on Gowalla – it’s like foursquare, only a little more fun because I can drop stuff at a location and pick it up – virtually of course. I left a margarita at a texmex place I went to, dropped cowboy boots at the Alamo, etc etc. PLUS they are local to Austin 🙂

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