Sorry for the delay, but the last installment of our South by Southwest posts is here! On Monday morning of SXSWi in Austin, we had a 4sqday meetup with a fantastic turnout. I met people from all over the world: Australia, Germany, Denmark; we all discussed celebrating foursquare day.
Those who had previously hosted 4sqDay parties gave some how-to’s and helpful hints. Those who hadn’t had great questions. Foursquare had handouts explaining how to register on meetup.com and sign up for a swag pack. Nina let us in on the new “crown” swag secret and got our feedback on other merchandise.
My favorite part of the meetup was a discussion about redefining the “superuser.” We were asked our opinion if the superuser should evolve into different areas of expertise or if that could become too complicated. I recorded some of the conversation:
After our meetup, the foursquare court was set up for the tournament. They washed it down with Pepsi Max so no one would slip! And isn’t Anoop the most adorable referee ever?
After the meetup, I ran into Jessica Barnett, one of the 4sqDay originators! Then Dennis Crowley talked to me! Very cool day.
The foursquare party at SXSW was INSANE. I was lucky enough (a.k.a. quick enough) to be on the RSVP list, so I got in easily and did not have to wait in a super long line. The Cedar Street Courtyard was an amazing venue for the party! Beers, wine and wells were free and DJ Bo Bliz was aaaaamazing! I ended up dancing all night with Anas and Simone from American Express and my new sxswbff April. They could part-ay. LocaModa was capturing our tweets and before you knew it, we were on the stage and the courtyard was jam-packed. It reminded me of a 4sqDay party. Here’s some pictures and video. Wish we could have all danced together!
On Sunday of SXSWi, I met up with Eric Leist, emerging tech strategist and co-host of the About Foursquare podcast and Tech Interruption and Benedict Corpuz, flight attendant and true mayor of the San Francisco Airport, to record the weekly About Foursquare Podcast. Shaky cellphone pic:
As an enthusiast, I’m a fan of this weekly podcast, and highly encourage other users to listen. Eric and Ching Yu highlight important foursquare/LBS news of the week, discuss new badges and offer great insight and interviews. It’s really great to listen to while at work – if you don’t have a regular podcast habit, this could be your gateway drug.
This was my 4th time as a guest on the podcast, which you can listen to here. Comment on the post and get a chance to win a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Right before we started recording, I spit my gum out into a foursquare napkin that I picked up with coffee at the foursquare court, but didn’t use so I pocketed it. Eric and Benedict were very amused with my fangirlness.
A week has passed since I drove to Austin and experienced the melee of SXSW and I’m still processing everything. SXSWi was overwhelming in scope: the influx of technology, ideas and extreme time organization was mentally and physically draining. Figuring out where to go, what to do, which startup to learn more about all at the same time avoiding the downpour with a backpack increasingly becoming heaver with free t-shirts, stickers, and koozies was downright exhausting. That being said, it was heavenly and I would return in a heartbeat. I could geek out about unlocking a new badge and not embarrass the people around me. In fact, I unlocked 20 badges while in Austin. Here’s a video of 19 of them. I unlocked the Super Swarm badge retroactively at the foursquare party and didn’t realize it until later.
Some of my favorites: SXSW Virgin (my favorite design of all time), Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and Too Cool for School. I also liked that foursquare organized it into a separate category in the badge trophy case. Alas, I didn’t unlock all the SXSW badges, but I think I put in a good effort.
Foursquare was one of my favorite tools to use at SXSW. I changed my friends list to “nearby” could see where my friends were checked in and reach out to them to meet up a later time – I found friends I didn’t even know were going to be in Austin. There were several opportunities of squarendipity. I used foursquare lists and foursquare tips to find places to eat and the best dishes. I dare-say it was the most helpful tool at for me at SXSW.
I did try out some of the other hyped location-based services debuting at SXSWi, but found the constant notifications annoying and a drain on my phone battery and disabled them after the first day. Perhaps it’s just me, but I may be too introverted to use shared social graph features to introduce myself to strangers. I felt uneasy about it – and if a progressive LBS user is a tad resistant about that level of connectivity, perhaps these apps miss the mark somehow. I did get to respond to Localmind inquiries for the first time and felt useful in that sense. So, not a complete wash! On a sadder note, I saw my first “Highlight Us!” Gowalla cling on the day they closed down.
I’m already wanting to prepare myself for SXSWi 2013; nerd spring break is going to become an annual tradition.
Foursquare announced their events for SXSW, which includes the return of the foursquare court, panels, parties, badges and more. I’ll be there reppin’ 4sqDay: please join me at the 4sqDay MeetUp event Monday, 11:30 at the foursquare court lounge (corner of 5th and Trinity). We’ll be discussing 4sqDay plans and swag packs.
Otherwise you can find me bouncing around Austin, attending parties, trying new location apps, and drinking all the free cocktails I can responsibly. I’m going to make a valiant attempt to unlock a crazy amount of badges. For those of you who aren’t going, check back on the blog for updates and/or follow me on twitter. I’ve been wanting to go for years, so I feel your pain – there will be no rubbing it in! If you are going, you can see where I’m going to be on Plancast and I made a neat little foursquare list of places I want to go. I’d love to meet you! Sorry, I don’t accept strangers’ foursquare friend requests. Safety first. See you on the court!
Happy Foursquare Day!!!! For the past 24 hours, I’ve been watching the Twitter stream of all the people getting their 4sqday 2011 badges. People are really excited. Amazing. Awesome. Stunning. 4sqday really is a holiday. Tons of media coverage and Googling “Foursquare Day” brings in over half a million hits for the first time ever!
I didn’t expect it to be like this. I was really burned out after 4sqday 2010. It was hard work. At the time, foursquare didn’t know what to make of us. The Tampa 4sqday team (especially Jessica Barnett), worked nonstop for 3 weeks to get the word out and scale 4sqday from a goofy optometry blog post to a global party. And we did.
But by 4/17, I was sick of it. I was VERY reluctant to have another 4sqday. I was perfectly willing to let it fade away, being remembered as one awesome, quirky day rather than attempt manufacture some sort of nostalgic, obligatory toast a year later.
But then an amazing thing happened.
People started reaching out to us, asking what 4sqday2011 was going to be like. They were asking how they could be involved. Foursquare communities didn’t exist prior to 4sqday2010 but were now strong and vibrant and ready for April 16th, 2011. We now have a foursquare media, thanks to blogs like About Foursquare, the About Foursquare Podcast, 4sqINDY’s 4sqchat, and others who try to get foursquare information out to users. Significantly, Walter Elly, Portsmouth Foursquare uber-organizer, became much more involved in global 4sqday planning and an implementation. He ensured that 4sqday had a presence at SXSWi. His vision, skill, and relentlessly positive attitude have been instrumental in making 4sqday11 a success.
Due to all of the creative, fun foursquare fans around the world, planning and implementing 4sqday has been fun. I LOVE the fantastic community logos that have sprung up (Atlanta and Groningen are two examples.) The video responses from fans all over the word to 4sqINDY’s request are very fun to watch. If you haven’t seen them all, watch here.
The number and diversity of city proclamations has been outstanding. It shows the influence that social media users and local independent business can have in their community and it put mayors in communication with social media leaders. Perhaps most importantly it is HUGE signal to other mayors and community leaders that they need to get with the program!
And let’s not forget the charitable causes. 4sqday events collected food, donated money to Japan disaster victims, supported the Red Cross, Humane Society and much more. We love the fact that 4sqday helped contribute to these causes in a spontaneous, grassroots way.
And truly, none of this would be possible without foursquare. And they have been FANTASTIC. They have worked hard to find that balance between being respectful of the grassroots nature of 4sqday and supporting the day. This is NOT easy to do, but they have worked nonstop since SXSWi to help make 4sqday awesome. The 4sqday badge and shirts were great! Sending out 125 boxes of swag all over the world for free on short notice was amazing. Party horns – nice touch!
Everyone at foursquare has been super, but special shout outs go to Anna and Nina. You can find them in foursquare’s very sweet and funny 4sqday video. If you haven’t seen it, do so now.
So what is next for 4sqday? Well, we don’t know exactly. The 4sqday team has to catch up on some sleep, go through a lot of email, and spend some time with our families. Then we’ll start laying the groundwork for April 16, 2012.
In the meantime, here are a few things you can do:
- Keep growing your foursquare community!
- Let us know if you’d like to receive email about future 4sqday events.
- Connect with the dynamic people who attended 4sqday meetups.
- Send any links to any 4sqday news coverage to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit any 4sqday artwork, photos, videos for us to share with others here.
- Help us update the Wikipedia page. 2011 needs to be represented!
- And of course, keep checking in!
Thanks, everyone 4sqday 2011 has been a blast! THANK YOU!