Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tips to make @foursquare more useful?

I´ve been on a break for some time now. Vacation has been occupying most of my time. I feel it´s time to shout out something I´ve been thinking about lately. In general I love @foursquare. One of the things that I like most is the fact that I can track my journeys: Where I went and what I ate, mostly. I moved to Stockholm 4 months ago and I´m still a newbie in this city, so this is my public notebook. I don´t exploit Foursquare to it´s full simply because I don´t know how to. The purpose of Foursquare is to help you explore a new city, to meet up with your friends, discover new places and new things. A short sum up on my Foursquare life. I haven´t explored new places, I haven´t done new things and I haven´t met new people based on Foursquare. Most of my friends are people I have met in real - or in my digital life, the majority through my Twitter account and not through Foursquare. I discover places through recommendations, either friend´s or media, and places I randomly stop by. Not through Foursquare. I have never been eating a dish based on a recommendation on Foursquare.
It doesn´t stop me from using Foursquare. I´m a geek and I like to play with it. I`m feeling proud when I receive a mayorship. However, from my point Foursquare is far from a success when looking into how I use it compared to the purpose of it.
Am I missing the point? Do you have any good suggestions for making Foursquare more useful?

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1 comment:

M. Elizabeth Williams said...

I'm surprised you've never discovered anything via Foursquare! It seems almost impossible.

For example, I went to NYC for a panel session at Comix lounge. When I checked in, I automatically checked out the suggestions and found that several people suggested ordering "The Godmother", a $14 cocktail
consisting of campaign, tequila, and elderflower liquor. I'd been
drinking $5 martinis, but figured I could splurge on one drink that came so highly recommended and OMG, it was amazing.

When I checked in, I shouted out about where I was and what I was doing. One of the panelists' employees saw my shoutout on Twitter and sent me a DM saying "Make him do a card trick!" Afterwards, I approached him and
asked him about a card trick. He declined to do one, then asked how I knew about his card tricks, so I showed him the conversation stemming from my check in and shout out. He thought it was funny and left. The next day, the employee friended me on Foursquare and invited me to stop by their offices any time for a card trick...and a free lunch.

Love Foursquare. Love it.I tend to find, though, that you have to
usually do more than just check in. Shout outs, leaving tips, etc. is very important to getting the social part out of it, as is checking out tips your friends have left and adding them to your To-Do list. I also tend to see places I think might be cool elsewhere, then check out the To-Do list to add To Dos so I'll remember next time I'm out.

Another way to use foursquare to discover places is find out what it takes to get a certain badge, then add those places to the To Do list. That way, when you're nearby, you can check that list to see where you should go for dinner if you can't decide, for example.

Also, the "nearby specials" will totally help you find new things as long as you check them out when you check in at a venue and a nearby special" alert pops up.