Portland loves Foursquare! So much in fact that Mayor Sam Adams has announced that he will declare 4/16 “Foursquare Day” in the City of Portland.
Local businesses are coming on board to offer specials, discounts and giveaways to celebrate all over the city. Most notably, Portland’s fun and quirky local pizza chain, Pizza Schmizza, will be offering a FREE giant slice on Foursquare Day to anyone who checks in at their 20 participating locations from 2p-6p!
Portland State University, home of Oregon’s largest student body (take that U of O Ducks), is throwing a unique all-day celebration called “The Foursquare Day Trail!” The trail will have students checking in at various points around the campus to unlock deals and get free PSU swag! Participating in the trail are businesses like Ben & Jerry’s, 7-11, Seattle’s Best Coffee, the PSU Bookstore and more!
Portland is home to Whiffies Fried Pies – a food cart visited by Dennis Crowley in the early days of Foursquare. After @Dens left a tip on the cart, it was decided that every #4sqday meetup should be there. After nearly 200 gathered in 2011, we’re hosting our third Foursquare Day at 6pm with the goal to unlock a Super Swarm badge with 250+ in the flash-mob-type meetup!
I’ve been proud that Tampa, the birthplace of 4sqDay, has had progressive capital-M-Mayors that have supported the social-media scene and foursquare in particular. For the first 4sqDay, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio issued a proclamation declaring April 16th to be “Foursquare Day.” In 2011, Mayor Bob Buckhorn invited me to participate in a 4sqDay ceremony (that’s me behind the tree) and declare a Foursquare Day Mayor of Tampa.
Today, however, Mayor Buckhorn has taken it to a completely new level by actively joining foursquare. And he is not the kind of Mayor to just set up an account and let it idle. He’s got a activity:
Lists by Mayor Buckhorn include City Parks, Attractions, Dining and Shopping, Government Buildings and Public Safety. Residents of the city as well as tourists will be able to see the unique places Tampa has to offer, all recommended by the city’s real-life Mayor. At many locations, Buckhorn has left his own personal tips ranging from his favorite ride at Busch Gardens to his favorite meal at the famous Columbia Restaurant.
I am excited about this development for a number of reasons. First, I think it is simply good for Tampa. Although it doesn’t always get recognized for it, Tampa has a lot of exciting tech stuff going on. Second, I think it is good for Tampa’s citizens. There are great spots in the city that are right in people’s neighborhoods and they might not even know it, but they make discover it upon checking in. Finally, I think it is a smart move for Mayor Buckhorn to be so social. For a politician, interacting with one’s constituents is definitely a plus in my book.
Who will be the next Mayor to join foursquare? Let us know if your Mayor does!
Photographers have a great opportunity to shine on foursquare. This was the subject of a recent #4sqchat (a weekly chat on Twitter at 9p ET).
1. Third Party Apps
On Rock Center with Brian Williams, acclaimed photographer Annie Liebovitz shares her opinion that the best point and shoot camera is the iPhone. You might already be playing paparazzi with a number of different apps on your phone.
2. Photo Shout on Check-In
A tweet gets 140 characters. A shout on foursquare gets 200 characters. Pictures, as they say, are worth a 1000 words. They also look really good on foursquare’s news feed. You also have the option to let anyone at the venue see the picture or just keep it among your friends. A public pictures will expand your reach.
ProTip: Make it 2000+ words by adding multiple pics. Just click the +Photo button next to +Comment on your check-in.
Leaving tips at foursquare venues helps share insider knowledge and thoughts. Pictures help. Personally, I tend to pay more attention to photo tips. Share a great photo about the venue as a tip. Even if you’re not a food photographer – you still have the opportunity to share something interesting, intriguing, or your photographic perspective.
Curate your photography experience. Connect tips that link to your interests as a photographer. You could have a list of favorite photography locations in your city, a list of clients/client venues, and a sporting venues (if you are a sports photographer).
Here’s a great example that was shared by Chris Thompson, editor of aboutfoursquare.com, during #4sqchat: https://foursquare.com/chrisirmo/list/photographing-cincinnati
5. Get More Exposure With A Foursquare Page (Bonus Tip)
Really serious about your pictures? Set up a foursquare page and start getting followers. Here’s a nice example… one of the best that I came across when searching for photographers on foursquare. This was also shared by @airthom during #4sqchat.
Notice how Solar Flare Photography has watermarked their photos, too. How is that possible? Edit your pictures, send them to your phone, and then go back through your foursquare check-in history and add a photo tip. Well done!
Now get out there and take some pictures!
Many foursquare users love it when a new badge comes out, but some have long forgotten about that core badge they received two or more months ago. In addition, there are people who just “jump” around the globe in an effort to get the latest badge; consequently, there is the great debate over whether this badge hunting technique is fair, cheating, or somewhere in-between, but now there is a new type of badge that was just unveiled by foursquare called expertise badges. Once you earn one of these core expertise badges, you can level up as you check into more venues that fall under the requirements of that badge! This means that you will be checking out new venues that you might not have thought to give a try before. This new badge feature motivates users to get out and explore the area, and this is a great thing. At the time of this post, there are currently 24 of these core expertise badges, but foursquare is working to unlock more expertise badges in the near future. Underneath this new feature is another level of gamification, allowing users to see which of their friends have unlocked a higher level of a particular badge than they have; similar to how some people have a friendly competition on the 7-day points leaderboard, foursquare now allows you to compete with friends over who has the greatest level of expertise in a given area! Personally, I am anxious for the expertise feature to be unlocked for the gym rat badge; as somebody who religiously goes to the gym each and every day, I am curious what level I am at! Which levels are you at? Which badge are you working hard to level-up right now? Are there badges that you hope will be given this feature in the future? And are you more motivated to check-in now than you were before?
One of the great and intriguing things foursquare is connected with is health (and well-being). At first glance, you might not think that foursquare would be focused on or even care about something like fitness or health, but, in fact, they are really big on lifestyle and how its users live their lives. Interestingly, foursquare rewards people for their healthy habits (and sometimes not so healthy habits) via badges. For those really excited about earning badges, foursquare rewards those who go to the gym or connect with specific health-driven technology applications and services. To get the gym rat badge, for example, a foursquare user just has to go to the gym 10 times over the course of 30 days. That might not sound like much, but imagine if you are new to fitness or merely trying to get back in shape. With foursquare, you are rewarded for your fitness efforts. And it does not stop with the gym rat badge; instead, there are badges associated with partners within the health and fitness industry like Health Month, RunKeeper, FitBit. Health Month is the foursquare partnering service that helps users set monthly goals and then keep track of them throughout the month. At the end, if they achieve their lifestyle and fitness goals that they set (and at the level that they set), they achieve a new badge. On the other hand, RunKeeper is an application that allows gym-goers to track their workout routines! They give you foursquare badges for doing 3 or 5 different fitness activities on the app, for running 5 kilometers, and for running a marathon! Most recently, FitBit teamed up with foursquare to offer its foursquare-using customers a badge when they take 20,000 or more steps in a day and when they reach a total of 1,000 logged miles!
On top of all of this, some local gyms and national fitness brands are turning to foursquare to offer unique deals for their foursquare customers! Earlier this year on Foursquare Day, LA Fitness offered some unique specials to its members and their non-member foursquare friends! They even rewarded the venue mayor at their gym locations with great swag. All in all, there are numerous ways brands, foursquare partners, and the foursquare app/network itself encourages you to stay fit and have fun with it. So, what are you waiting for? Get to the gym and earn a few badges while you get in the best shape of your life! I look forward to seeing you there!
It’s November. Fall is here, Halloween decorations are being put away and turkeys everywhere are starting to get nervous. It’s also time for men around the world to start growing a mustache for charity. It’s time for Movember. Movember is an event that takes place during the month of November and was created to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.
It’s not too late to get involved, check out http://movember.com for details- you can grow a mustache (or “mo”) on your own, join a team of stache growing folks (either as a mo grower, as a supporter or as a “mo-sista”) and, most importantly, support these brave men by sponsoring their mustache growing efforts through charitable donations to Movember in the name of their mo. Donations to Movember benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong.
If you’re reading this you probably not only appreciate the idea of growing mustaches for charity, but you probably also like foursquare. Here’s how all these things can come together for awesome: Checkin for charity. It’s a fantastic way to use foursquare to help raise money for charities like Movember. Last year Portsmouth Foursquare was able to raise over $1,800 for Movember with just two checkin for charity events.
This is how checkin for charity works: for a specific tweetup/party/event simply ask individuals and businesses (in advance) to pledge money for every person who checks in at the event on foursquare. Cap the total number of checkins counted at a certain number (e.g. 50) so that people who pledge can know what their maximum pledge could be. In terms of how much to pledge any amount is fine, but typically individuals pledge anywhere from $0.25-$2 per checkin and businesses pledge anywhere from $2-$10 per checkin.
During the event track the total number of people who checkin at the venue where the event is held using the foursquare app or website. Be sure to let people know during the event to check in and be prepared to sign new people up with foursquare so they can checkin too. After the event publish the numbers, thank all the donors and let them know how to make their donations (and what their final total added up to). Then pat yourself on the back and high five the nearest mo-growing individual or mo-sista for a job well done.
So, are you convinced? Ready to grow a mo and/or support a mo grower or mo-sista for charity? Want to throw your own checkin for charity event? It doesn’t have to be limited to Movember, go wild with the idea! Be sure to let us know in the comments if you plan to do this and especially let us know if you have any questions so we can help you with your own checkin for charity event!