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Tag Archives: Foursquare

After spending a year and a half developing a social media centric community with key individuals, I found myself for the first time kicking back in a single seater leather couch with my legs elevated resting on a perfectly matched leather ottoman during our Foursquare Kalamazoo 1st Annual Rock the Chili Cook-Off. Most of the time I’m the one running around getting things coordinated or making sure the people who RSVP knew where they were going or reminding people to check-in. It was a great feeling to see and experience the social side of the efforts of my own brain child being led by someone else.

Working on the premise of “find a need, fill a need,” Foursquare Kalamazoo in Michigan was formed. Some come for the education, some come for the food, some come for the camaraderie as well as social good, and others are just trying to figure out what is this social media community. The need continues to grow as more people begin to catch wind that these organizations are around for all of the above reasons.

More partnerships of wanting to replicate a similar community model within their own business/organizations for their customers have come about and the fascinating part is people WANT to get involved in the social media scene. Kalamazoo is growing in the social media realm and it’s an exciting time to watch it evolve while it learns to pick up on the basic mobile applications that we have learned to love and depend on such as Hootsuite, camera phones, scanning QR codes, Angry Birds and more.

One of the fascinating things I’ve observed as a social media connector is watching our social media groups grow, reach out to others and educate them about the fundamentals. I gathered that our group have a common desire that the more people we get on to Foursquare and social media, the more opportunities there are to see offerings from a business or to gain a new friends. It is a social gathering and the social aspect draws people to connect. The platform itself is but a tool to achieve these social means or even as a way to enhance the social connection. Other than that what people are drawn to is the social experience – connecting with others with common interests, which goes back to basics in socializing with others.

Overall, the key thing to remember: There is a reason why it is called “social media” and the part “social” plays a huge component in developing a successful campaign or community. We tend to get caught up in the semantics or the intricacies as well as wonderment of social media, but what makes social media successful is the basic connection with other like-minded people. For without that key piece, a cool social media campaign is just a cool campaign without a purpose. Creating an environment to connect on common interests via social media is critical. Sometimes at the end of the day, what drives our Kalamazoo social media groups to keep grow is the very desire to connect and explore their community while catching up with an old friend.

As we plan for 2012 Foursquare Day just remember that however great or small the event becomes, our focus should be on the connections we build and the new found friendships we are going to develop.

 

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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!

foursquare's gym rat badge

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!


Today’s guest post comes from Michele Sarzana of Milan, Italy!

In the wonderful atmosphere of Fuorisalone 2011, it has been held the Milan Foursquare Day event. With the effort of few passionate people and the constant support of VML Milan, Ambito 5 and Hagakure, we were able to organize a cool event that succeeded in the goal of uniting a lot of our favorite social network addicts (there will be 260 unique check-ins in the evening, a record for the italian scene) and also many brands interested in understanding and joining the great world of geolocalization.

There were many companies present at the event; Ceres, Olivia & Marino, LetsBonus, Sony Ericsson, Mi chiamo NERD, FASTWEB, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Italia, Videonbox, ADCI, Direct Line and Y&R, each one of them offered gadgets to anyone who checked in at the venue and redeemed the specials purposely created for the event.

At sunset in Via Tortona 37 the first curious and interested guests started wondering through the pavilions set up around the Tweet Bar: with a beer, a game of cards, a few pins and a few talks, it was easy to get almost 180 simultaneous check-ins. More and more people kept stopping by, asking questions, and many guests downloaded the application and registered on the spot, to be able to unlock at the first check-in the famous Swarm Badge.

The lights of the evening shone, literally, in the center of the scene where it rose the magnificent foosball table that has been Foursquare branded. The pitch has been the main event of the evening with a wonderful tournament that lasted until late in the evening and that had seen the participation of 32 teams of crazy couples that aimed at the final prize: 2 brand-new Sony Ericsson Xpleria Arc.

In the same contest of the event we launched our project deeply linked to Foursquare that is taking a more definite and complete shape day by day: FoursquareLand!

In conclusion, it has been a cool and interesting night that showed us how Italian social community is growing and getting stronger. On our behalf, lots of fun and one promise: we will be there again next year!


Another guest post. This time by 4sqDay NYC Co-Planners, Will Kievit & Shannon May! Happy Birthday, Shannon! Go Gators!

It seemed like one minute I was suggesting a bar as a venue for New York’s 4sqDay Meetup and the next I was organizing the event. More and more people started to RSVP each day and I could tell that this event was going to require a lot more effort than I ever thought. Luckily I had met Shannon back at Social Media Week and she offered her help. She definitely had no idea what she was getting into.

Without further ado… here’s what didn’t work:

1. Zero Time

It is probably important to mention that neither of us are party planners; I am an IT Project Manager at GE and Shannon is a Social Media Strategist at Gray Line New York. While at first we were having trouble rounding up sponsors, things soon picked up.

Timeline of events:

  • 16 days – Will asks Shannon to help co-plan 4sqDay NYC
  • 5 days – Desperation tweets for last minute sponsors. Tasti D-Lite responds and we secure their sponsorship 2 days later.
  • 4 days – Pretzel Crisps sees our cry for help and donates 50 VIP swag bags.
  • 3 days – Still waiting on a response from 2 HUGE potential sponsors which unfortunately, never fell through.

Just as the event was closing in, we had a few more companies approach us for sponsorships; some of which were rather… unique…including a company that manufacturers icepacks.

2. Well we have sweet drink specials, but no food

With only 4 days to go, I heard some buzz about foursquare day cakes. I knew as New York City, home of the foursquare headquarters, we definitely had to have a cake, and it had to be impressive… like cake boss impressive. I reached out to Palermo’s Bakery because they make some impressive cakes and they agreed to donate a cake. They didn’t have a lot of time to go all out, but still they were able to make an iPhone 4 cake with a custom 4sq Check-in Screen.

3. Media banner printed the wrong way

1-800 Postcards graciously donated a 4X8 foot banner with the foursquare logo printed “Step and Repeat” style. Unfortunately, due to miscommunication on our part, the banner was printed landscape instead of portrait. In the end, we improvised with a little duct tape and our photographer, Krista Bedosky, made the best of it.

4. No Help

We decided to divide the work into several focus areas: Venue, Sponsorships, Promotions, Celebrities, Charity, & Proclamation. Our hope was that others would be willing to take the reigns of some of them, giving us more room to focus our energy on the bigger stuff.

Well we only ended up having one person volunteer … Leslie, our PR girl.

On the day of the event around 2pm, I was stuck in traffic in a cab and getting frantic texts/tweets from Shannon for help ASAP. I thought she might have broken her leg. But thankfully, the venue was just a wee bit unprepared when she arrived and we had to do a lot of setting up.

5. No car

Unfortunately living in NYC means relying on public transportation. Because of this, Shannon transported 5 boxes of foursquare swag, tons of party supplies, a laptop, as well as a 4X8 foot banner and banner stand on the subway from her Upper East Side apartment. It took about 8 subway rides to Union Square before she finally gave into taxis.

5. The Monsoon Outside

Mother Nature apparently is not a fan of Foursquare Day. The weather forecast was literally 100% chance of rain Saturday night which led to a few hurtles.

Due to the rain, only 30 VIP’s showed up to the VIP Bus in Times Square. Thank goodness we requested a bus with a plexiglas roof overhead. When we went to leave SideBAR to head to the “afterparty” at Village Pourhouse, rain was falling from the sky sideways. NO JOKE.

6. Transporting the 50 VIP Bags

Taking the 50 swag bags to the bus wasn’t pretty. The plan was to box the bags up at Shannon’s work on 40th Street, take a cab and head over to the bus on 53rd Street. Sounds simple, right?

What really went down was Shannon and her friend strapping as many bags as they could on their arms and walking 6 blocks in a torrential downpour. Because the bags were so heavy, they literally couldn’t lift their arms to hail a cab or hold an umbrella. 20 minutes and 3 fallen soldiers (VIP bags) later, they made it to the bus. Whew.

What Worked

Google Docs, networking on Twitter, foursquare, email blasts, and pure luck.

Check out the photos of our event here and here.

All in all, it took a lot of time and energy, but we definitely had an amazing time. We are already starting to plan out ideas for next year and anyone interested in getting involved should reach out to us at 4sqdaynyc@gmail.com.

Will Kievit & Shannon May

And here is a great video of the NYC event from Mo Krochmal and Carmina Perez!


Don’t worry! Although we haven’t posted anything over the last few days, we have several great 4sqDay stories to post (and we are always looking for more!)

We totally love the excitement and emotion from this one by Sumit Berry of Dehli, India. It really makes you feel like you are there and feeling all the joy of the Foursquare Awards and the Swarm Badge!

 

Before I begin lemme tell you quite candidly that this is the first time ever in my life I am writing a macro blog so there might be some structural errors in it, so I request you to not to throw virtual eggs and tomatoes on me while reading it. 😀

It has been an extremely pleasant experience organizing the foursquare day during the past couple of months for our team and it was much more enjoyable on the 4sqday itself.  What could have been a better day than a Saturday to host the foursquare day here in Delhi –  the deafening sound of vuvuzelas, guests’ desire of laying their hands on the official foursquare merchandise, some awesome beer flowing in and the foursquare awards all were in pure sync that made it rock.

Delhi and it’s citizens stay quite engrossed with in themselves, the people here do not adapt to latest technology very soon as compared to the southern part of India but still there is a good lot of tech buffs who were eagerly waiting for something like this to happen and guess what, one announcement and all were there with us showing their support for the Delhi’s very own 4sqDay.

Initially we were quite anxious about whether people are gonna actually  turn up or there were just fake RSVPs but then after seeing the busy registrations desk I took a deep breath and said to myself  “brrrring it on baby! Delhi is now rolling”

All the while we stayed glued to our guests helping them with their check ins and ensuring that they have an awesome time at the venue. Abhi at the registrations did an excellent job and made sure that people comfortably entered the venue without much chaos. Guests showered us with hundreds of questions relating to how did we manage to organize this “Super Event” also when are we gonna do the awards ceremony. I loved every bit of it, the way people networked with each other was beyond my expectations. With people discussing latest tech and talking about iPads and current gen tabs as the time passed I noticed that this event was now not just a foursquare day,  I mean it was amazing to see a mob around Clinton Jeff (one awesome 4sq’er) ,all coz he had the latest iPad 2 with him all sourced from The U S of A.

With all this hush hush going on, it was now the 55th minute of the party we entered in to and somebody shouted from somewhere “I just unlocked the goddamn Swarm Badge”, this guy was so excited coz it was the first time he could unlock a Swarm Badge in Delhi which he never expected to do earlier. Moments after his announcement almost everybody started checking their mailboxes just to see whether foursquare have sent them the email containing the confirmation of the swarm badge. And there was huge roar in the crowd which lasted a few seconds.

The highlight of Delhi’s foursquare day celebrations was the foursquare awards. It isn’t that we felt so but the constant tweets from the guests tell  it all requesting us to start as it was getting late. We were waiting for more people to check in hence the delay, but without wasting much time we gave it a go ahead. Although we had planned to host the awards in a formal way with the help of a presentation and some nice audio visual equipments that we had installed but you know when it comes to guests loaded with beer in their bellies there’s hardly anything one can do in a streamlined manner. Hence we decided to keep people very much busy by participating in to the awards ceremony as if they were the jury themselves , watch the pics at our fb page and you shall know what do I mean by this.

One of the guests named Anshul Sushil bagged three of the twelve awards and was delighted to get his hands on the unusual looking trophy which was nothing but a vertically held vuvuzela decorated with the 4sq stickers and some nice pin badges. You can read here:     http://ianshul.com/2011/04/foursquare-day-celebration-on-16-april.html what he blogged about the awards and the 4sqDay. There was one guy named Abhishek who won the biggest award at the foursquare day and it was the Apple iPod and the crowd over there went berserk after the announcement. 4sq’er of the day won a custom made 4sqDelhi tee and was selected on the basis of the 4sqer who has got maximum no. Of friends on 4sq, Honey Singh won it with 296 friends, read his blog here – http://www.honeysingh.com/

We wrapped up the event by about midnight and distributed contents of the Swag Bag to the attendees of the foursquare awards. After each 4sqer said adios to us, we thanked the staff at the Venue and went out wearing our much loved 4sqDay Tees out to the plaza and people there could not stop noticing our 4sq badges cladded tees.

This year’s 4sqDay has given us a solid base to organize future 4sq based social events and with support of our followers we are dead sure that we can organize an even bigger event next time.”


Our next guest post comes from Sarah Lee, of Kalamazoo, MI. She is a total rockstar!

Foursquare Kalamazoo hosted its first Foursquare Day celebration recently with a two-day event packed with activities, specials and plenty of swag. Since Foursquare Day was on a Saturday, we wanted to build some hype leading up to the day itself to get businesses and local users aware of it by beginning the festivities on the Friday before it.

However before all the festivities took place, several things took place to help bring attention to Foursquare and Foursquare Day itself. As many other cities in the U.S. have taken the lead in proclaiming April 16 Foursquare Day, Kalamazoo followed suit and asked social media aficionado City of Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell to declare April 16 Foursquare Day. We received our proclamation officially on March 30 and it was read on April 6 (Check out video proclamation here).

Next we talked to several businesses to claim their venue on Foursquare and offer a special on Friday during the festivities and also on Foursquare Day itself. Daniel Proczko from Apt2Labs and myself (Sarah Lee) actively pursued businesses downtown and surrounding areas, meeting with business owners and walking them through the venue claim process as well as setting up Foursquare campaigns. The official tally: More than 25 businesses claimed their venues and 14 businesses offered Foursquare Day specials.

As part of our groups (TweetUp Kalamazoo and Foursquare Kalamazoo) goal to have important community conversations through social engagement, we thought this would be a great opportunity to spread social good on Foursquare Day itself. We ran a breakfast food donation drive for Ministry with Community, a local community-based organization that provides food, daytime shelter and other basic services to central Kalamazoo’s homeless, poor, mentally ill and hard-to-serve adults. A hot heavy breakfast meal was uncommon for the members of the organization to experience and this was a great treat for many of them. Approximately $350 in breakfast food items were donated which comprised of a 30 pound box of bacon, 20 dozen eggs, packages of sausage links, dozens of jars of jam and honey, and a dozen cartons of orange juice to name a few.

The festivities:

On Friday we kicked off the festivities beginning at 5 p.m. with a tweetup featuring Stanford Smith from Pure Michigan as a guest presenter talking about tourism and social media. We had more than 30 people in attendance and we gained more people throughout the evening. Then followed by a progressive party to The Union Cabaret, Old Burdick’s, Harvey’s On The Mall, Central City Tap House and The Bureau. The final stop of the evening at The Bureau was a sneak preview of a new coworking space in downtown Kalamazoo that will be finished by late spring. To make the progressive party a little more engaging, we created a QR code scavenger hunt where participants had to find specific items that contained QR code clues at the different stops; some were hidden in pictures at the restaurants/pubs. Prizes were awarded to winners of the scavenger hunt, which included gift cards and certificates to Celebration! Cinema, Fontana Chamber Arts performance, Millennium Restaurant Group and Foursquare Day swag. For the crazy late night owls, a few of us went for breakfast at 2 a.m. at Crow’s Nest.

The following day on Saturday, a few of us volunteered to serve breakfast at 8 a.m. to the members of Ministry with Community – the donated breakfast items were served on this day. Staff at Ministry with Community cooked the breakfast food items and we helped with smaller tasks such as setting up the tables, scooping jam and peanut butter into individual servings, cutting fresh fruit, pouring juice into serving containers, serving plates of food to the members at the tables, but most of all connecting with the members. We served more than 120 members that morning ranging from families with small children to people with disabilities. Many members approached us and thanked us for providing breakfast that morning. We also learned a lot about Ministry with Community’s work with members and invited us back to help in the kitchen once again. Later towards noon, we met up at Studio Grill for a Foursquare Day lunch meetup and we got to meet folks that didn’t make it out to the festivities the night before.

Overall, we thought the celebrations went very well. In fact we got a fair amount of media coverage prior to the events that brought more awareness to our group and also to the Foursquare mobile application. People who came enjoyed themselves and also made a few new friends on Foursquare while earning some badges such as Player Please! and of course the Foursquare Day badge. We also gave away Foursquare badge buttons, made by Exquisite Corpse Gallery, and cool exclusive Foursquare Day Kalamazoo t-shirts designed by Andranika Tkachuk. We surely could not have pulled everything off without the help of so many volunteers and the support of great local businesses.

 

People to thank:

Dan Proczko – for the t-shirt hook up, designing posters/fliers, and getting businesses on board with Foursquare

Jeff Ray – for helping to set the overall vision for the festivities and developing the QR codes for the scavenger hunt

Becca Altman – for supporting all the pre-planning tasks of the festivities and driving up to Grand Rapids to pick up the t-shirts!

Constanza Aguirre – for buying last minute breakfast items with cash donations we received and helping with whatever we needed help with to make this happen

Andranika Tkachuk – for awesome t-shirt design

Mayor Bobby Hopewell –for working with us and helping us get the proclamation done

Exquisite Gallery Corpse – for making buttons in a short amount of time

Ministry with Community – for working with us the donation drive and also educating us on an important service in our community

The Vernon Group – for allowing us to show a sneak preview of The Bureau

The Wine Loft – for hosting our tweetup for the past one year

Tweetupkzoo and 4sqkzoo followers – thank you for spreading the word with tweets, retweets, Foursquare shouts and Facebook posts

 

Sponsors to thank:

Apt2Labs

Celebration! Cinema

Millennium Restaurant Group

Fontana Chamber Arts

Geek Easy

Frogsplash

All the anonymous sponsors – thank you!!!

 

Media coverage:

Ask My Millennial

Kalamazoo Gazette

Second Wave Media

Western Herald