May 28, 2011
Continuing the guest posts about 4sqDay. This one is the from the official report for FoursquareItalia.org by 4sq Ambassador Michael F. Forni and 4sq Superuser Eleonora Rossi.
In the splendid Medieval and Renaissance City of Bologna, the small – but still superfast growing – Italian 4sq Community chose the magnificent setting of “Piazza del Nettuno” (Neptune’s Square) as the perfect set for the the first – ever –Italian foursquare day 2011, organized by foursquareitalia.org (alias Mimulus) and WeAreSocial.
Most of the participants were waiting nearly for a full year and, despite the bad meteorological omen, the day was promising: crispy air and sunny sky, with a bitter wind that, made unfold more than one raincoat lapel … but who cares… it’s 4sqDay, as we said before, the most “geo-ref-day” on the Planet!
Dozens of backpacked randomly-aged guys (with eyes glued on their smartphones) started to show up and began suspiciously to glance each other, pretty surprised that most of the people was gathering for the 4sqdayITA: girls, boys, families with kids coming from Modena, Milan, Vicenza, Pesaro, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Macerata, Florence … lots of places then, not just a “Bolognese” Meet-up!
As time passed and check-in increased … at 15:54 the SWARM BADGE was unsurprisingly unlocked, while familiar faces on twitter and 4sq avatars, suddenly became 3D, together with several new entries!
With the valuable help of several assistants and co-organizers (mentioning few above all: @Tommaso @Luca2D @ilbisbetico @suonatorejones) the guys of Mimulus and WeAreSocial rapidly distribute paper maps, instructions and all the necessary material for the “Explore your City Game in Bologna” … together with some super gadgets: fantastic 4sqday Italian logoed buttons designed by @Luca2D, “Mayor aboard” Car decals and “Your hanging with the Mayor” T-Shirt.
Soon it was pretty clear that we were just the right opposite of a “community of misogynist geeks”: we finally had the opportunity of meeting our favorite bloggers together with users and tech-enthusiasts in order to share ideas, dreams and amenities… not necessarily related to the digital life!
The “Explore Your City” Game about Bologna (3 path in 8 hidden-clued venues) resulted to be truly funny and in tribuing: after first cryptic clue, the gamers had to move between faithless wives, statues of saints, ancient “tortellinis” codes and old Towers, turned into B & B … and lots more!!
Diverse fellowship gathered: the “heavy runners”, eager to win, the “Ask Google” ones and the “Family group”, people cheerfully pushing their “babies-on-wheels”, amidst laughs and contagious merriment.
Bolognans were astonished, surprised but also intrigued by a strange and awkward show, starring: people running here and there -some of them out of breath- looking like their smartphones were a sort of natural extensions of their hands useful just to take pictures of churches, towers, shops and roads! (The Game needed pictured Check-ins, indeed).
Although there was no true race, everybody fell in the mood of a good competition: everybody wanted to get the clues, or squeeze the best from Google (a player was heard screaming «I feel lost without Google!») but it had also been an opportunity for sharing opinions and decide, together, the path to be followed.
Once back to the Venue “Neptune’s Butt” players and their new friends stressed out the several anecdotes of the geo-loc treasure hunt, with large smiles and noisy laughter!The strong feeling of living something good and new, together with new-born friendships, gave us the true proof that the 4sqDay event had been truly social!!
The evening was the exclusive opportunity for the 60 “lucky Mayors” quick enough to enter the in-3-days-fully-booked VIP Lounge Dinner List; As soon as the organizers declared “Ready, steady, go!”, a sudden silence was the only soundtrack prize-winning game: “4sq Super Expert”, sponsored by Coin; later on the winners for the “Most voted #4sqDayITA Pic” received their prizes from Kodak, the other Main Sponsor of the event.
As it usually happens, everything ended with exchange of digital identities and phone numbers, together with the sincere gratefulness for those who worked really hard to make sure that Bologna managed to celebrate its 4sqDay, sharing the joy with the rest of the Planet!
See you in next in 2012, obviously on 16/04, repeating the “motto of the day”: every Check-in counts!
Stats of the italian foursquare day 2011 (Bologna, 16th April)
Explore Your City – 3 exploring path (created by @FrancescaFabbri) through the ancient Bologna unlocking 8 different venues one after the other discovering Bologna under three points of view: “Bologna for Students”, “Bologna for History lovers” and “Bologna for Mystery fans”.
Pssst! Wanna know a “secret”? The guys at Mimulus based their supercool Bologna Treasure Hunt “simply” on the inspiring idea that led Mr. Crowley & Mr. Selvadurai to create foursquare: smart guys, uh?
Planning to visit Bologna in the future? Check-in in the “Chiappe del Nettuno” in Neptune’s Square and choose your own “Explore your City” path! (Italian only, sorry guys)
We (the Community) were the target and we were very much happy to be part-of-the-game!
We can’t be so ungrateful not to mention @4sqdayIta , “Mimulus” and “WeAreSocial” … these guys made an impressive job!
Many Thanks “COIN” and “Kodak” for their supportive Sponsoring (wonderful gifts, indeed !!!)!
- 140 people enrolled for the “Exploring Game”
- 60 Mayors entitled to join the exclusive “aperi-cena” (sort of informal dinner)
- Participation: 80% during the day (not including the self-invited) and +90% in the Evening!
- The brand new Venue “Chiappe del Nettuno“ registered 110 check-in in less than 6 hours!
- The approx 1,000 check-in in Bologna surroundings contributed to reach the 3M World-Check-ins: 4sq’s all time record!
- More than 2.000 tweets mentioning the official hashtag #4sqdayITA between 16th and 20th April ’11.
- Foursquare Italia Official Flickr Page has enrolled almost 30 members, that uploaded almost 300 pictures.
- The official group picture on Foursquare Italia Facebook page counts 42 “like” e more than 80 comments … increasing
Official #4sqDayITA web site*
Official photo gallery on Flickr
Official #4sqDayITA video
* other links, pictures, videos, facts and figures:
Excerpts from the following articles:
- original Italian article| InTime – Condivido per Comunicare | (www.franzrusso.it)
- fousquareitalia article | Osservatorio Italiano su foursquare | (www.foursquareitalia.org)
About the Authors
Michael F. Forni is an official foursquare Ambassador, who deals from a long time with Marketing, Communication, Innovation and Company Turnaround Management. Business Consultant in Italy and Romania, he’s a polyglot and sailor… an enthusiastic “real life traveler” (Europe, USA, Caribbean a.s.o.). He adores Live Music; good food worshipper, often delights his friends with his unique dishes (Italian, Caribbean and Thai Cuisine).
He is active on twitter (@michaelforni), facebook, Linked-In and… obviously on foursquare (
Eleonora Rossi (co-author), 4sq lover and SuperUser, is going to graduate in Public and Social Communication at Bologna University with a thesis involving foursquare. She is extremely interested in everything that is social and web 2.0! She adores reggae music, photography and good films.
She’s also active on twitter (@elfolen), facebook (
), Linked-in and, obviously on 4sq (