We’ve been getting the question a lot lately: “When will the new map be up on 4sqday.com?” Or some version of that. We know there is only 6 weeks left and you want to find out what is going on. In a roundabout way, I’ll answer the question…
Last year we faced the daunting task of organizing Foursquare Day around the world in less than three weeks. In our favor we had limitless enthusiasm and some super nice people. What made it difficult was that there were no foursquare communities yet to reach out to when we were spreading the word. We did our best, at first with our personal blogs and wikis, then Facebook, Twitter, and the official blog. Finally, with less than a week to go, we were able to get the Foursquare Day site up and running with events and specials listing and a phenomenal map. From the beginning, Jessica Barnett was the mastermind of 4sqday.com and I cannot express my appreciation for her work last year.
We were really proud of the 4sqday site because it allowed for tremendous functionality for such as diverse community. It gave a sense of centralization to what what was a decentralized, grass-roots effort. Also, it looked cool. Our site was recently featured in this recent post: Beautiful Event Website Design: 10 Inspiring Examples.
Our plan this year was to massively upgrade the look and features of the site. With OAuth Twitter Connect, users would be able to add, edit, and delete events and specials. We were brainstorming other ways to use the foursquare API to engage communities on April 16th. It was going to be totally tailored to what makes #4sqday unique.
Unfortunately, while foursquare has previously taken a 100% hands-off approach to Foursquare Day, this year was different. Through several discussions, they made it clear that it was their intention to use Meetup Everywhere for users to organize Foursquare Day events around the world. We understand the benefits of this and tried to find a way to integrate the custom experience of 4sqday.com to Meetup Everywhere, but the truth is we are volunteers with hectic day jobs. It just doesn’t make sense to jump through lots of code hoops just to compete with the likes of Meetup. So this year, there will be no 4sqday map, no city leaderboard, and no city by city specials list. Sorry.
Meetup Everywhere is very cool and we’ve used it to organize some great events here in Tampa, but I do not think it fits 4sqday very well. So what should you do? Well, since foursquare is a community-based effort, we suggest that all foursquare communities create a blog, a Twitter account and Facebook Page of your own to organize, prioritize and communicate. See Foursquare Atlanta and 4sq Indy for awesome examples. If you are not sure if your area has a 4sq community organizer or not, then check Foursquare Day Local. See your area? Awesome. Connect with the organizer and see how you can help. Don’t see it? Add your name and contact info! We do encourage you to use Meetup Everywhere, but we hope that by keeping it community-organized, it will not be a giant mess of events.
Look forward to the roll out of the new, scaled-down 4sqday.com soon. There are a few details that we need to take care of first. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing Foursquare Day Local grow. We also have several blog posts and guest blog posts lined up that we are excited about. If you have a special Foursquare Day story that you want to share with the world, consider suggesting as a blog post!