This past Sunday, my Baltimore Ravens took on the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional round in the National Football League. I was quickly reminded by fellow writer Nicole (@googleismybf), that she the Community Manager of @foursquareHOU. With a little smack talk during the week I decided to step it up and incorperate foursquare into a bet.
I asked Nicole to put a mayorship on the line. If you lose, you have to let someone else take over the venue as mayor. But that wasn’t the end of it. You had to wait 3 days before checking back in to try to regain the mayorship. That means this person now has 4 days over the previous mayor. Personally, I think that is quite a hill to climb back up.
In a hard fought battle, the Ravens won.
Nicole ended up conceding her work mayorship. I’d say that was a smart call on her end. She probably can earn back her mayor position before the end of the month. TopSpot Internet Marketing is now ruled by John V [at the time of this writing].
Thanks for the bet, Nicole. It was exciting to put something on the line and have the potential to lose it, and eventually earn it back.
Have you ever bet anything on foursquare? “I bet I can get 5 people to do my tip before they do your tip” What are other creative bets the can be used in foursquare?
With foursquare reaching double digits on City badges, we decided to list them out for easy reading. Don’t forget you can submit a request to get your city a badge too! Simply fill out this form and … wait.
Be sure to follow 4sqcities on foursquare.
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A great way to encourage foursquare use in your community and meet other foursquare enthusiasts is to host a meet-up. At Foursquare Houston, we host them on the 16th of every month, in honor of 4sqDay.
Some foursquare meet-up tips:
- Ask venues who are already engaged in social media. We often try a venue that does not have a foursquare special in order to educate them, but it helps if they are aware of foursquare to begin with. This often isn’t easy. Small business owners are busy people and they often don’t have time to email/meet with you. If all else fails, go with a business you know or that already has a special.
- Plan early. Sometimes tip #1 takes forever. It’s best to start a few weeks in advance. That will give you and the venue more promotional time as well.
- Have ideas for specials. In my experience, many venue owners and managers aren’t sure about what they want to offer. Give them a few examples, using different items and different types of specials. It’s great if you have something extra-special for your meet-up, but you don’t want to push too hard. You’ll want this to be enjoyable for both you and the venue owner.
- Find interest locally. Whether it’s through a foursquare community, campus ambassadors, Super Users or a twitter list of local foursquare users – know your audience. Anyone will be invited, but it’s good to have some influencers coming. Invite them directly.
- Have a meet-up around a badge. Foursquare Houston has done meet-ups for the Wino and the 7-10 Split badge in the past. Next month, we’re thinking Don’t Stop Believin’. Don’t fret, I’ll take video.
- Be Giving. Have the check-ins for your meet-up contribute to a local charity. Snoball is a great tool for this.
- Make it Fun. Do you have something fun to give away from the venue or from a sponsor? I still have foursquare buttons and stickers leftover from 4sqDay 2011 that I pass out on the monthly meet-ups. Organize a real-life foursquare game. Work with the bartender to make a foursquare cocktail. You get the idea.
and remember… it’s okay if there’s low turnout. Have some personal conversations with other users, make friends, and discuss how to improve. Here’s to meeting new people with whom to explore your city and making everyday a foursquare day.
Have you been to a foursquare meet-up that wasn’t on 4sqDay?
p.s. yes, that picture is a Cheeto Burger that I had at the November meet-up at Hubcap Grill.
Sometimes deciding where to go for lunch can be the most difficult decision one faces all day. Day after day, picking a place for lunch becomes such a hassle you pass the decision from coworker to coworker like a hot potato. Mmm… did someone say potato?
No more schlepping it to that crappy lunch joint just because the guy in accounting has a crush on the waitress. Here are three different methods foursquare can pick your next meal. My foursquare lunch experiment: try a product that uses foursquare, go to the recommended venue no matter what and report back.
Method #1: via email
Where Next?! is a service that sends an email to you based upon your last check-in and suggests where to eat lunch.
- You can customize the specific days and the time you’d like to receive the suggestions.
- The email contains five different venues.
- The recommendations are based on distance, popularity amongst friends, popularity on foursquare and venue check-in patterns (people who checked in at a place you frequent also frequent this place).
- Specials are highlighted, but I’m not sure if they are weighed in the recommendation.
- Likelihood of me using it is higher since it’s sent to my inbox and no further activity is required on my end.
- When I first signed up for Where’s Next?! it took a while for the emails to actually start. It seems the kinks have been worked out now, because whenever I make changes to the settings, it’s responsive. Be patient, grasshopper.
- Just because a place is popular doesn’t mean it is good. And if a venue is too busy, you waste your precious hour waiting in line.
- It’ll recommend a place you’ve been to often (perhaps too often?). I guess Where Next?! is attempting to throw in at least one ‘safe’ recommendation in case the others are duds.
- Unclear if it takes into account my personal behavior – I don’t eat fast food, I prefer locally-owned businesses, I don’t like Thai food, etc.
- It often recommends a cupcake shop near my work,
which really shouldn’t be my lunch– wait, is this a con?
My experience: Monday I used Where’s Next?! and my polite email came in right on time. The very first option was a sandwich shop I had never been to, but 3 of my foursquare friends had. People who checked into restaurants I’ve checked into had also checked into this sandwich shop, and it was popular on foursquare in general. Although parking was abysmal, I found it a solid lunch choice and probably somewhere I would return.
Method #2: via third party app
- Lists eateries around you via distance and check-ins.
- You can type in another location from which to search.
- You can shake your phone and get a random suggestion.
- At the time, it was very slow and didn’t have my current location (it thought I was at home and not at work).
- It only rates places by distance and check-ins, no other qualities.
- It seems to be missing a lot of venues.
Foursquare.com got a makeover at the end of last year; now when you visit and allow foursquare to see your current location, you get suggestions based on the Explore engine. [Edit: Now with the new foursquare Explore (released today!), this is out of date. It looks like new website Explore is the ultimate in lunchtime recommendations. ~nb]
- Suggestions are time sensitive
- Based on the Explore engine – so there are places that are popular, places your friends have been to and places like those you frequent
- Suggestions seem unique; perhaps it’s because I visit the website so often, but I discover places I never knew existed (unlike Where’s Next?!)
- None, really. Maybe one – you get that little pop-up when you go on the site to do anything.
My experience: Wednesday at noonish I visited the foursquare.com homepage and awaited the first of three suggestions. Foursquare recommended a Mexican restaurant I hadn’t been to that I really wanted to try. When I got there and checked in – I leveled up on the Hot Tamale badge AND unlocked the Eater 38 badge! Huzzah! The tacos were excellent, too.
Conclusion: I will continue to rely on the Explore engine for recommendations until something better comes along [Edit: it’s arrived! that was fast, foursquare! ~nb]. I am still subscribed to my Where’s Next?! emails and even if I don’t open them every day, it’s always good to have some options when the inevitable question arises… “Where are we eating today?”
My question to you: Is there something you use for lunch recommendations?
Tigers, LSU is teaming up with Foursquare at the BCS Championship Game! First, follow the LSU Foursquare page. Then on game day, starting two hours before kickoff, check into the the game’s event entry at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. All new and current followers of the LSU page will automatically get the “Geaux Tigers” badge!