Foursquare, the world’s most popular location-based mobile platform, now has over 7.5 million users. It’s recent and continued growth has made it a key ingredient in many people’s and organization’s social media mix. Its growing popularity is attracting more and more national media attention; furthermore, foursquare is continuing to innovate by adding new application features for consumers (like explore), adding new tools for claimed businesses (like additional special capabilities), creating new badges (like the many offered at SXSW), and updating their point system.
Now that there are over 7.5 million users, we are finding more and more people looking for ways to learn more about foursquare. Some have found the increasingly popular podcast from AboutFoursquare (that is usually recorded Sunday evenings and posted every Monday morning) and the great TweetChat #4sqCHAT, the Twitter chat session started by @4sqINDY that is held over Twitter (globally) at 9pm EST (GMT -5:00) each and every Monday. Yet, others still do not know! So, how can we inform and engage these people?
Since the AboutFoursquare podcast & #4sqCHAT TweetChat are very helpful, newsworthy, and regular, it would be wise to promote these foursquare fan gatherings directly on the foursquare network. However, both of these are virtual (physically location non-specific) in nature, so checking into these and knowing that these are trending is currently not possible. So, it might be a good idea to take a note from the SuperBowl playbook and make these true foursquare social gatherings global venues on Mondays! This would help others find better ways to connect and learn. We would see more people (especially the newer foursquare users) engage in the conversation, and that will only make the foursquare experience better (both in the short and long runs)! In recent days, many have asked me questions like: “What is foursquare?” “I don’t get it; how does foursquare work?” Some have downloaded a foursquare app for their smartphone but don’t know where to go from there. Many of these people could just walk away before realizing that foursquare has an awesome and knowledgeable community just waiting to help them out.
But, with anything, there are drawbacks. The Superbowl might have been a one-time venue deal. Once we open the can of worms on global venues, things could get different and in a bad way. Some contend that these type of “event” check-ins are made more for GetGlue or similar social network instead of on foursquare, but I disagree with the wholeness of that statement. I think every situation and event venue needs to be looked at individually. I could see where a global SXSW or CES venue might not be the best idea (unless there is a live stream online that people are watching) but could certainly see the opportunity to create these as event venues with a greater check-in radius); on the other hand, #4sqCHAT (and even the AboutFoursquare podcast) is highly social and regular. With more and more people participating on Monday evenings, it could be a way to help each participant share this with their friends. If we get enough people checked in on one of the Monday evenings, the 4sqCHAT session would be trending for all to see. This would create even more participation; sure, it would help promote the chat and podcast (unofficial extensions of foursquare), but I am confident that this would actually pay-off the biggest for foursquare; the return on investment would be substantial!
What do you think? Should these two and others like it be listed as global venues? If these were global venues, do you think it would help engage the foursquare user of today and tomorrow? Let us know below and feel free to sign the petition I created!