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One of the best things about Foursquare – communities are growing worldwide and local groups are creating amazing initiatives. Today, I’ll try to describe Latvia in foursquare briefly.

If someone would ask me to describe Latvia as an material, I would say – amber; if as a taste – a slightly bitter taste of a homemade beer. If color – all the autumn colors; but if the description would involve places worth to visit I would undoubtly reach to my mobile and press the Explore button in foursquare app.

If you are looking to Latvia on the map – zoom in – it’s a small country near the Baltic Sea. And we have around 7125 foursquare users here, which in comparison with 10+ million of foursquare fans worldwide also could sound not quite impressive.

Despite the numbers – you can feel the energy inside those who dedicate time to foursquare not only a SU team here, but also creators of local (and for this moment – international) stats tool – 4sqstatistics.com. That’s an analytics resource developed from 4sq.lv, a project seen by @dens and spotted also by @aboutfoursquare last year.

We had our first swarm party and fun events. Local mobile carrier held a new shop opening as a swarm party last year. There was also a badge hunting party held by a bus line on a Foursquare day. Just recently, I was happy to see that we have successfully moved over simple swarms – few well attended musical events acquire swarm badges in no-time.

Brands – ‘what about them’– you would ask? Frankly speaking, there are some interesting projects from the brands.  The most valued is LiveRiga (https://foursquare.com/liveriga) – a tourist information service. They are giving tips and insights about the places worth visiting here in Latvia.  Some of the national brands are experimenting with foursquare but as always, the most effective and agile are small businesses. These small businesses have learned the most precious is the possibility to build up brand loyalty among consumers.

As an answer from community, were sounds of lists covering happy hour specials, great outdoor places and memorable party experiences.

I do not want sound like an annoying sales agent, but you should plan your journeys to Latvia – enjoy the wild nature, great food and lots of places to check in!.

– Mareks (@marruciic)

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One of the great things about this being the 2nd annual Foursquare Day is that we get to work with some of the same people who made the 2010 event so special. Last year Pacific Catch was one of the first venues to join us and we had a great time working together. We even had a swarm-to-swarm video call as part of the “Global Swarm” series.

This year Pacific Catch is going above and beyond. They have an extremely cute kickoff video. And immediately after the earthquake in Japan they were thinking about ways to use Foursquare to benefit the Japanese people. We’re please to feature their effort.

 

Pacific Catch Restaurants have announced that, on April 16th, its Ninth Avenue location will host an Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fundraiser in honor of Foursquare Day.

In 2010, Pacific Catch was one of the first to join Foursquare Day creator, Nate Bonilla-Warford of Tampa, to host a San Francisco 4sqday Swarm Badge party. Pacific Catch’s event specifically resulted in over 100-guest check-ins.

For this year’s event, Pacific Catch will be adding a charitable fundraising component to further spread the theme of “Connecting with the Community.” The restaurant will be partnering with Sapporo Beer to raise money for Japan earthquake relief.

“After talking to our Sapporo beer rep and hearing about how their company has personally experienced loss through the recent tragedy, we no longer needed to figure out who we were partnering with,” says Chamin Mills, Marketing Manager & Event Planner for Pacific Catch.

Proceeds from Sapporo beer sales, the sale of the limited-edition “4sqdaySF” tee shirts as well as a raffle from local San Francisco businesses will be donated to help sustain and rebuild Japan.

The event will also feature a “Pacific Catch-style” barbeque featuring tacos off the grill, beer & wine, live music provided by Latin Reggae/Salsa band, Manicato, as well as a special “Super Swarm” period between 2:00-4:00 pm where guests will gather and check-in to unlock the much coveted “Super Swarm” badge.

The 2nd Annual Pacific Catch Foursquare Day celebration will take place on Saturday, April 16th from 1:00-5:00 pm at Pacific Catch’s Ninth Avenue location (1200 9th Avenue) in San Francisco.

How can you be a part of Foursquare Day?

Check out the Foursquare Day Website and 4sqdaySF events page.

Follow on Twitter: @pacificcatch & @4sqdaySF

If you would like to donate a raffle prize or learn more about 4sqdaySF, contact Chamin Mills at chamin@pacificcatch.com.


During and immediate following Foursquare Day, there were a lot of fascinating blog posts about the various swarms and festivities. In fact, there now is a steady 160,000 Google hits for “Foursquare Day” so you know we cannot possible have read them all.

But now that we have had some time to catch up, we’ll be post snippets of some of the more interesting Foursquare Day posts. The first one, comes from us from Prague, of the Czech Republic. We were watching them closely, as they were super-organized from the beginning.

As a result of grassroot efforts, 16th April was declared “Foursquare day”. Since Czech people always try to trick and outsmart the others, #prague4sqday was called for 15th April, putting us in the lead. Unsure about number of 4sq users, the meet-up organizers hoped at least 50 users would come, earning this way the “swarm badge” (wondering how many badges are there? I like this list).

It all took place in a famous restaurant Como (in the heart of Prague life – Wenceslas Square), because it is the only place in Prague where you can actually get some bonus for check in (15% discount for every second check-in during happy hours). The place is run by Matesola, a famous food blogger, who helped the geeks enter the mysterious world of chefs, wait stuff, wine distibutors and more. Being one of the first in .cz to try out Twitter for promotion of a venue, seeing him as 4sq poweruser comes as no surprise. The other organizer was Martin Hassman, well known editor / writer / consultant among Czech geeks 🙂

Matesola welcomed us in Como, promised more free drinks (I was driving later, so I got a bottle of non-alcoholic beer as an extra, thanks!) and snacks after Martin’s presentation “Everything you always wanted to know about Foursquare but were afraid to ask”. Available on prezi – but only in Czech. Meanwhile people start to gather in small and liquid circles trying to match the faces and nicknames, meeting old friends and making new ones.

We are putting a call out for guest posts about your awesome Foursquare Day experiences. If you are interested, email info@4sqday.com.


OK swarming people! We want to see you party! Send in your links and we’ll post them!

OFFICIAL TAMPA SWARM HQ Stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/4sqday

Cabaret West Glen in West Des Moines, Iowa: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cabaret-west-glen-foursquare-day-swarm-party

PS: Want to embed our stream? Use this:

http://ahref=<a href=”http://www.ustream.tv/live” style=”padding: 2px 0px 4px; width: 400px; background: #ffffff; display: block; color: #000000; font-weight: normal; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline; text-align: center;” target=”_blank”>Live TV : Ustream</a>


OK, so you’ve read all about Foursquare Day and you are excited to take part in the first global social media holiday. Now what? The Community Guide includes some great suggestions on spending your Foursquare Day in your neighborhood. But perhaps something is missing. Maybe you want to go all the way. Maybe you should take the next step and host a Foursquare Day swarm!

Take this simple quiz to find out if organizing a swarm is right for you:

  1. Do you use social media?
  2. Are you a social media rock-star guru expert?
  3. Do you know what foursquare is?
  4. Do you have a swarm badge?
  5. Do you currently have money to burn?
  6. Is there a swarm scheduled in your city or town?

Scoring: If you answered “yes” to question #6, then it is recommended that you attend that scheduled swarm. No need for competing swarms. If you answered “no” to question #6, then you should definitely organize a swarm! If this is the case DON’T WORRY, there is plenty of time to get things done. But don’t procrastinate. (Note: Items 1 through 5 do not count in scoring.)

If you are organizing a swarm, here are some helpful suggestions:

Venue

Ideally you would want a place that is familiar with foursquare already, because they will already know the benefits and will be much easier to work with. Look at the venues in your town and see which place is offering mayor specials and which places have a lot of check-ins already. The swarm could be held almost anywhere: a park, a museum, a club, a restaurant. Here in Tampa, we have chosen the Hyatt Regency because it is big, downtown, nice, and they reached out to us wanting to host the swarm.

Time

Many swarms around the world are scheduled during the evening. It is a Friday and since Foursquare Day is not yet a federal holiday, many people will be working. Some communities have suggested a break swarm or lunch swarm. Reach out to your potential attendees and see what they are most interested in.

Money

Organizing a swarm can be free or very expensive, depending on what you want to do. If you have a swarm potluck picnic, then it should cost almost nothing.  When you talk with the venue, try to get a good deal. If your venue is not familiar with foursquare, you may have to do a little educating for them to realize what an amazing opportunity this is for them. The whole point is to get together and check in to tell everyone where you are. Help them understand that it is in their best interest to make you a very good offer, such as a first drink free with check in.

Reach Out

Utilize every network you have, online or in real life, to get the word out. Take advantage of meetup and tweetup groups. Get the word out on all the social networks that your community uses. Many communities have created Facebook pages like Machester, NH has done. Some larger communities, like Atlanta, have created stand-alone websites. While we recommend keeping the #4sqday hashtag, you may want to additionally use your own to help find each other’s tweets.

Internet Access

Be sure that your swarm has public WiFi available so attendees can tweet and blog easily. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a few extra laptops around to share. It seems like common sense, but you never know.

Video Steaming

We highly recommend that you stream your swarm on ustream.tv or similar site.  We will have monitors showing the live streams from all over, plus the tweet stream using the #4sqday hastag. You could easily do the same.