My Foray into Foursquare

Posted on January 21, 2011

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I first got wind of Foursquare when my cousin sent me an email invite in April of last year. I accepted the invite and hastily set up an account, after which I conveniently forgot that I have one. At the time (and up to now, actually), I still find Facebook much more useful for my purposes, which is staying in touch with friends and new-found friends not through geo-location but through actual communication.

Some time later, I read from PR-related blogs that Foursquare is good for business communication. So I re-visited the site and hastily set up another account, this time for Ateneo de Manila. I set up an account primarily because I didn’t want another person who’s not connected in any way to Ateneo to “steal” the name. I linked it to our Twitter account so that our Foursquare will have a proper name. And then I contemplated how to use it. Wisely. Strategically. Optimally. That is, how to differentiate it from how we use our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

My initial thought was that since Foursquare seemed to focus on lifestyles (divulging where you are and giving tips on where to go, what to eat and what to do), I thought of making the Ateneo Foursquare page a repository of tips on fun things to do in Ateneo. Life in Ateneo isn’t all about studying and having zero fun, after all. There are concerts to attend, plays and films to watch, festivals to take part in, bazaars to see, food to eat, workshops to learn from, art to marvel at, and a lot more. Ateneo de Manila is abuzz with activities. So I figured that’s what our Ateneo Foursquare is all about.

I think it was some time in August when I set up the account. And now, months later, I still haven’t figured out how to make Foursquare fun and engaging for the 154 friends I’ve managed to “amass”. I still need to figure out how to give tips that are useful. And more importantly, I still need to figure out how to make sure that those tips reach my intended recipients.

Foursquare has a shout-out feature I recently discovered. But since my phone is in the low-tech side, I haven’t taken advantage of the check-in and shout-out features. Until today. When, after fiddling around at Foursquare, I decided to try logging in through the Other Devices option at the front page so that I can use Foursquare Mobile while in front of a desktop computer. And it worked! I made my first check-in and shout-out today. I hope Ateneo de Manila’s Fourquare friends heard it.

I know there’s supposed to be a special page option for businesses. I downloaded the form that I’m supposed to email back to Foursquare, but I decided later on to wait until Foursquare unveils an easier way of signing up at Foursquare for business. Besides, I want to know Foursquare as a user first so that I’ll know the habits and preferences of followers before moving on to the bigger world of Foursquare for business.

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