The rumor must stop now!
Fousquare did not come up with 4sqDay to promote their apps. There was no slick viral marketing agency behind it. No one got paid. It was just a bunch of social media peeps from Tampa who liked social media. That was it.
The Foursquare Day story is REALLY about people, ideas, community, Tampa Bay, social media, and crazy deadlines. Foursquare Day started as whimsical thought by Nate Bonilla-Warford. An optometrist by training, he has been a dabbler in social media for years. Immediately after Foursquare became available in the Tampa Bay area, he very quickly saw its value and blogged about it. As a business owner, Foursquare clearly offered a way to connect with and build relationships with patrons with almost no financial expense.
Nate is amused by simple number relationships like squares and primes and he makes a big deal about Pi Day each year. The thought struck him that since four-squared equals 16, it would be great to check into Foursquare on the 4th 16th of the year, otherwise known as 4 / 16 or April 16th.
Nate floated the idea on Foursquare’s Getsatisfaction.com forum on March 12, 36 days before April 16th. An entire week passed before Nate wrote up the Foursquare Day proposal on March 22, with 25 days left. Nate met Jessica Barnet at a social media lunch meeting and she got to work getting people together and promoting the idea.
Foursquare made it official on March 26 via announcement on Twitter.
This was re-tweeted over a hundred times and drew much more attention to the Foursquare Day Concept. There was exactly three weeks to go until the newly-official day.
Word spread via Twitter and Facebook and, yes, even in real life. Many planning meetings were held and many blogs, tweets, and videos were posted online. During this time, the concept of Foursquare Day grew from simply being a day to check in to a global social media holiday, which Nate described here.
The result of the first 4sqDay: Read this by Amber Osborne. That sums it up well. Certainly many, many people from all over Tampa Bay including Amber Osborne, Antony Francis, Kim Randall, Chris Kanclerowicz, Kevin Lyons, Susie Steiner, Cate Colgan, Allison Barkley, Greg Hilferding, Simon Cousins, Bill Cason, and others around the world have participated in shaping Foursquare and we are very grateful!
Thanks to all, and the people who make up the foursquare communities the world over.