What is Foursquare?
As I understand it, it is a game built around connecting friends while exploring popular cities. The web site provides the following explanation, "We wanted to build something that not only helps you keep up with your friends, but exposes you to new things and challenges you to explore cities in different ways."
How Does It Work?
Using a mobile phone, users check-in to different places within the city. As of this post, the iPhone and Android have apps, where the rest of us can use a mobile web site or SMS (50500) to interact with the site.
Based upon the time of day and where you go, one can earn points and badges. Badges are visual rewards for completing specific tasks and challenges. As an example, I received a newbie badge this morning for a successful check-in within the Raleigh-Durham area.
To earn points, Foursquare offers three ways:
- Discoverer Bonus: Check into a place you have never been before (5 points)
- Travel Bonus: Hitting more than one place in a night (1 point for each place after the first)
- Combo Bonus: Going out multiple nights in a row (1 point for each night)
At first glance, this site feels like a place to rate restaurants and other establishments, but its not. In fact, I see no rating system at all. What makes this site fun and useful is the number of challenges and tips users can share.
With the Tips and To-do sections, users can introduce fun activities and good food at particular hot spots. An example of a challenge would be, "Get a hole in one on the putt-putt course at Frankie's." As you visit new places, use Foursquare to challenge or advise others on what to do and see.
The site is still growing and I imagine more cities will be added shortly. However, if you are in the Raleigh-Durham area and want to befriend me, feel free. In fact, if you're using Foursquare and just want to explore its functionality, feel free to invite me as a connection.
In the comment section below, drop me a line and let me know what you think about it or challenge me to a game in your area.
Until next time...