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Category Archives: Challenges

if you are looking for a fitness-friendly social media network, look no further than foursquare! For whatever reason(s), foursquare has embraced the fitness community, and I am glad to see this. As an avid gym rat and fitness fanatic, it pleases me to see that foursquare has gone a bit further to support healthy living. Foursquare does this in three primary ways, mayorships, points, and badges!


As most of us know, the person who checks into a venue the most [number of days] within a [rolling] 60 days period is considered to be the mayor of that venue! If you have a few fitness fanatics who are also foursquare fanatics at your gym (like we have at my gym), you will soon find yourself in a friendly battle for the mayorship of your gym. On those days where you do not feel like going to the gym, maintaining or earning your gym’s foursquare mayorship can help boost your motivation to get off the couch and hit the gym! I know that it does for me!


Maybe not quite as cool as a mayorship, some people really like to have more points than their friends. When you go to a venue every month, every week, or every day, you have a greater chance to earn bonus points, which will help you jump up the leaderboard! So, checking into the gym more frequently will earn you additional points and possibly bragging rights.


If you love badges, foursquare has a bunch of healthy-living related badges for you to earn today. First, if you go to the gym ten times or more in a 30 day period, you earn the highly-coveted gym rat badge! If you want more badges, you are in luck. Join Health Month, link up your account with foursquare, and you can earn an additional badge each month based on the health and fitness goals that you set for yourself. If you keep track of your workouts using RunKeeper, be sure to link your profile with foursquare and earn badges for completing different cardio workouts! Lastly, if you have a fitbit, now is the time to connect it with foursquare and earn even more badges! Currently, they have two partner badges with foursquare!

The Fitbit

I have had my Fitbit since right before Valentine’s Day! It really is a cool gadget that helps me keep track of how many steps I walk each day, and helps me figure out how many floors I have walked up and down, how many overall miles I have walked, how well I am sleeping, and how many calories I burn each day. Like I said above, they offer two foursquare badges, one for when I take 20,000 or more steps in a given day and one for when I surpass 1,000 total miles. I only found out about the fitbit because of foursquare and these badges, and I am now using this device and foursquare to help keep me motivated each day! Just yesterday and in an effort to earn my 20k badge, Elaine, Jamie, and I took their dog up to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park for about four hours of hiking up and down the mountain. When I was low on water or energy, I remembered that my goal was to surpass 20,000 steps that day, so I pushed on. It is amazing how a simple badge can motivate you.

Fitbit 20K Badge

Winning Combination

Together, foursquare and fitbit really make a winning combination. Because of the two, I am living a highly-motivated, healthier lifestyle. The great news is that you can do the same! As we approach 4sqDay, take the time to earn some fitness badges!

Everyone who has been to the Foursquare site saw the new map used to show venues.

And most people hated it! Even more Brazilian users because the maps are similar to Silent Hill! There is nothing on most of our cities! Just the name of the city and nothing more!

Only few capitals have maps with streets and avenues!  I really prefer Google maps as Foursquare’s map based system.

Campo Grande

Campo Grande City Map by


The question is: why? Why did they change?

I don’t know the answer but I know something – Google is trying to make a copy of Foursquare! And this could be a reason for this. They can pressuring and elevating prices for Google Maps’ use.

Last week Google launched Leaderboard. It came with an Android actualization for Google maps and it is released when you make check-in with Latitude.

You win points with the check-in and there is a ranking of your friends. Ah, there is more: the person with the highest point total wins a crown! Google is trying to make a fake Foursquare! Awful!

Look at this print screen to see it with your own eyes!


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?

my first check-in of 2012

Oh foursquare, in 2011 you were so good to us; you gave us explore, lists, a whole new website, and much more! Perhaps as we make resolutions to get fit, eat well, and travel, we should also make foursquare resolutions. What’s a foursquare resolution? Just a commitment to give back to or enhance the foursquare experience. Some ideas:

My resolution:
In a my role as community manager of Foursquare Houston, I’m going to attempt to conquer one of our foursquare community’s greatest weaknesses: a lack of local business specials. I want to sign up a business for a special every week. My hope is that 52 local foursquare specials will beget more specials.  It may seem a bit lofty, but I’m going to give it a shot.  If you share this problem, I would encourage you to try this too.

Are you going to make a foursquare resolution for 2012? Do you have more suggestions?


Attention Swarmers! FOURSQUARE DAY CHALLENGES have been issued by the following cities and venues!  The list is not exhaustive, so if your challenge is not listed, please add it to the comments and the Foursquare Day Team will update the list.  And please don’t forget to use the hashtag #swarmchal in your Tweets!

Read about FOURSQUARE DAY CHALLENGES and the fairly fuzzy rules here.

The FOURSQUARE DAY CHALLENGES are listed in the order they were thrown down on Twitter.

Thanks, and swarm on! @swarmchal


Tampa's gonna take NYC DOWN! #swarmchal

Foursquare Day Mayor @NateBW of TAMPA, FL issued the inaugural challenge to NEW YORK CITY, NY. Kapow!

Chad Lager of FUBAR, a Beijing Speakeasy, challenged The VIPER Room, Los Angeles. That’s two drinky cities!

PITTSBURGH, PA challenged TAMPA, FL. Yow!


Pune egged on the whole world and then NOME, AK (no Swarm on record) challenged PUNE, INDIA. Bam!

BRIGHT EYES FAMILY VISION CARE (Tampa, FL) challenged NEW BERN FAMILY EYE CARE (no Swarm on record). That’s a poke in the eye!

PORTLAND, OR challenged SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Battle of the left coasters!

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA challenged SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. its boxing kangaroos! G’day, cobbers!


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA challenged HONG KONG.  Rrrrrumble in da jungle!

BEIJING, CHINA challenged SHANGHAI, CHINA. Fuwa to kick Haibo’s butt? Does Haibo have a butt?

PORTLAND, OR challenged LOS ANGELES, CA.  More left coast action!

RICHMOND, VA challenged ROANOKE, VA. Hillbilly smackdown?




When it comes to something new, it is often our nature to sit on the sideline and observe, trying to figure everything out before jumping into the game with the other kids.  Social media such as Foursquare is no different. First, we watch to see what the rules are, what is acceptable and what others are doing, and then we hesitantly approach looking for an opportunity to get involved…THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY!!!

Foursquare Day is the perfect chance to dive in with the largest group of new players entering the game at once, making it easy to watch and learn while participating. The 4SQDay team is here to help you, think of us as player coaches, we are all involved because we love social media and the opportunities it provides us with. Who would have imagined that an Optometrist (Dr. Nate) with a love of social media would throw out an idea that so many would get involved with; that is the power of social media. You do not have to spend a lot of money, you just need to be open and share.

4/16 is the perfect reason to try location based social media with Foursquare being one of several, but my personal favorite (Foursquare vs Gowalla). Sign up and link up with your friends it’s easy, see simple slide overview here. Now go out and explore the businesses on there, and enter your favorite, yet to be discovered locations, so others can discover them too. Talk to the businesses you visit often and ask them to get involved, just send them to to find out more and enter their special or have them contact Head of Lettuce Media who is offering free coaching for businesses looking to get involved in Foursquare Day but need that little extra hand holding in figuring out what to do. Either way get involved and get them involved.

Businesses Get involved, it is not so important how you get involved, but that you get involved. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and if you wait, you will be one of those looking back thinking, I had a chance to get involved back during the first Foursquare Day, and I blew it.

Antony Francis, Head of Lettuce Media

Things are moving amazingly quickly! It has been less than 24 hours since the swarm challenge concept was posted and already we have these known challenges:

  • North Andover challenged Little Rock
  • Tampa challenged NYC
  • Pittsburgh challenged Tampa
  • San Francisco challenged Portland
  • Melbourne challenged Sydney
  • Atlanta challenged Denver
  • Pune, India challenged Bellafontaine, Ohio
  • Beijing challenged Los Angeles


  • Kuala Lumpur challenged Hong Kong!
  • Beijing challenged Shanghai
  • Richmond, VA challenged Roanoke, VA

Pay attention to this page, because we’ll be tracking the Swarm Challenges here and tweeting updates with the hastag #swarmchal. And of course, when the dust settles, we’ll announce the WINNERS!

And just to keep it interesting, here are rumors and questions we’ve been hearing….

  • We know that DC is mulling it over, choosing their victims with care!
  • Cincinnati is Sharp and primed for a challenge, is anyone going to step up?
  • Where is my dear Chicago in all of this?

Foursquare Day’s global team, under the honorable Mayorship of Foursquare Day creator @NateBW, hereby announces FOURSQUARE DAY CHALLENGES! Think your city’s swarm is gonna kick butt? Prove it by challenging another city.  Across the world, its cities against cities, venues against venues, bars against bars!

The inaugural FOURSQUARE DAY CHALLENGE is issued by @NateBW himself:

“Hey New York! You think you’re the home of Foursquare, huh?  Well try to beat our MASSIVE FOURSQUARE DAY SWARM in Tampa, Florida, birthplace of Foursquare Day!”

Nate also helpfully added, “Global trash talk rocks!”

The challenge has been thrown down, Swarmers.  Send us your Foursquare Day Challenges according to the rules below and we’ll post them right here on the official Foursquare Day website.


  1. Foursquare Day cities that issue and accept challenges must have registered their city’s Swarm Event on the official Foursquare Day website.
  2. Foursquare Day venues that issue and accept challenges must be hosting a Swarm event on Foursquare Day (4/16/2010) and have their event registered on the official Foursquare Day website.
  3. The challenge must be issued on Twitter with a tweet including the hashtag #swarmchal.  The challenged must “RT” (re-tweet) the tweet with indication of their acceptance.
  4. The challenger is then responsible to email the challenge details to
  5. During the Foursquare Day swarm, the challenge issuer and acceptor must take a real, honest-to-goodness photo of the Foursquare app running on a smartphone at the venue, showing the number of check-ins.  The photo should be emailed to
  6. Each challenge will have its own blog posting on the official Foursquare Day blog where winners will be adjudicated by Mayor Nate and the global grassroots Foursquare Day community will ensure that there is tons of argument if anything looks faked.
  7. Foursquare Day global crew reserves the right to tweak these rules to make ’em clearer or more fair.

Get to it, Swarmers!

Mayor Nate and the Foursquare Day global crew in Tampa, FL.

Foursquare has gotten some good press recently, thanks in part to SXSW. I want to help, by turning April 16 into Foursquare Day!

Background: I’ve been a fan of foursquare since before I could even use it. While it was incubating in New York, I was reading about foursquare on Mashable, but since Tampa wasn’t yet an open city, I couldn’t do much. Immediately after Tampa was unlocked I blogged and tried to get the word out to friends and fellow business owners. Although I used the mobile site, it wasn’t until I could download the Blackberry app, that I really began to see it as a game that also challenges me to try new venues in my neighborhood!

More background: I’ve always been a fan of geeky holidays. My birthday, October 23rd, falls on Mole Day (10^23). And of course March 14, (3.14) is Pi day. And May the 4th (May the force… with a lisp) is a great day for a Star Wars Day party!  So why not Foursquare Day? Let’s get out there and frequent some local venues on Friday, April 16.  Why then? Because it is the 4th month, and the 4-squared day!

To participate, all you have to do is check in somewhere on April 16, and use the #4sqday hashtag! Then party down! It is that easy!

But if you want to help us get the word out here are some other ideas:

For Users:

Share this blog post with everyone!

Tweet about it. Use the one-click tweet if you want to!

Vote the idea up on the official Foursquare Get Satisfaction page.

Join the Foursquare Day facebook page!

Tell your friends and use the #4sqday hashtag when making your plans!

For businesses:

Make sure your venue is up to date with correct info, tags, categories, etc. For example, here is Bright Eyes venue page.

Offer a special or discount on Foursquare Day! Tell everyone, put it on your webpage, blog about it, tweet about it. Stay tuned for our #4sqday discount!

I don’t think it is an improper use of tips to add a tip for your venue that you are celebrating Foursquare Day with a special of some sort, but others may disagree on that point.

It has been suggested that anyone who gets 4 check-ins on Foursquare Day get a Foursquare Day badge. I am all for this! If anyone knows how to bring this badge closer to reality, let me know!

So what am I missing? What else should we do to get the word out? What are you planning on doing to celebrate Foursquare Day? And don’t forget to friend me!

If you’d like to be a part of the #4sqday planning group let me know!

-Dr. Nate

The original Foursquare Day proposal from Dr. Nate’s blog Bright Eyes News.