Archives For Government 2.0

A capture of how a foursquare update, known as a "check in," appears on my Facebook page.

After hearing Antony Rotolo of Syracuse University‘s iSchool talk about the power of location-based social networking tools like fourquare, I decided to open an account and give it a whirl.

Foursquare (which writes its name lowercase except at the beginning of sentences) allows users to connect with each other and to share their locations through a process called “checking in.”

You can use foursquare on a computer, but it is most powerful when launched on a smartphone, as it can tap into the phone’s GPS and help users determine exactly where they are and what’s around them. Foursquare ties into users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, which makes it easier to find contacts who also use foursquare. Additionally, this feature turns foursquare into a blogging tool that can enhance posts to those platforms. There is also a foursquare plug-in for WordPress, which I have yet to play with.

As Rotolo explained to students in Ines Mergel‘s New Media Management class, foursquare has clear value to businesses, who tie it into their customer loyalty programs. Customers who “check in” at certain locations get discounts and freebies, which in turn motivate the customers to utilize foursquare more.

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