I have to confess that every time I see a tweet in my tweetstream of “I’ve become Mayor of…” from Foursquare I get a flash of annoyance. My curmudgeonly side surfaces and I want to hit the block button. 😆
You see I don’t really get Foursquare. Off course that may have something to do with the fact that I don’t have a fancy pants cellphone that connects to the Internet, but even so it seems one of the creepier Social Media apps floating around out there.
What interests me though is the thought of how libraries can hook into it. Are libraries out there offering “Rewards” via Foursquare, or thinking about it? What would you offer, and would people really want to become the Mayor of Dannevirke District Library?
I found Palmerston North, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Wellington libraries on their site…
For further reading here is an article from Stuff:
Nine times out of 10, when Dunedin businesswoman Sam Heeney walks into a cafe, bar or restaurant she pulls out her mobile phone and “checks in”.
It might seem strange but Ms Heeney is not alone – more than two million smartphone users around the world do the same as members of Foursquare, the next big thing in location-based, social networking.
Foursquare encourages members to check in to locations on their GPS-enabled phones so they can let friends know where they are and earn points and rewards from businesses for being regular visitors.
The most frequent visitor at any given place is crowned “mayor”, and members can review and comment on places for friends, and also publish their Foursquare updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Ms Heeney, a senior project manager for an events firm, says she has been using Foursquare for about eight weeks.
She “checks in” to Air New Zealand’s Koru Club lounges, “when I’m out and about in town, when I’m at a meeting in a cafe and on the leisure side of it I check in wherever I happen to be.”
Just like Facebook and Twitter, Foursquare is yet another way of keeping in touch, she says. “It’s an instant communication with people.
“For example, the other day a guy I know from the States was in Auckland. I didn’t happen to be in Auckland at the same time but had it not been for Foursquare I probably wouldn’t have known he was there.
“There’s quite a clever business side to it as well. If I’ve got a client who I know wants to get in touch or a client that happens to be in the same city, you could get a message and know that they’re two cafes down the road. It hasn’t happened yet but it can.”
The application only suits certain places – namely those locations where you want to be seen to be and where you want to meet other users. “I absolutely wouldn’t check in to places like supermarkets or the doctor.”
She says she’s yet to win any Foursquare freebies from places she visits regularly.
“The one that’s sparked my interest more than anything else because I travel a lot is the one Air New Zealand has with the Koru Club.”
The airline’s Foursquare promotion gives “mayors” of selected airports a free pass to the Koru Club lounge, or 100 airpoints dollars if they already belong to the club. The mayors of selected Koru Clubs will also receive 100 airpoints dollars.
Air NZ social media specialist Tom Bates says the promotion has increased the number of Foursquare users checking in at airports and the reaction to Air NZ’s debut on the application has been positive.