As many of you know I am a fan of the check-in social networks such as Foursquare (where I am a Level 2 Super User). I check-in to GetGlue on a regular basis for shows and movies and more and I have ordered my stickers more than once to be sent to me in real life.
However, one of the issues I have with these sites is they seem to lack respect for our privacy in some of the simplest ways. The services all ask you when you check-in what other social media services you’d like to post your activity to – such as Twitter or Facebook. (This, of course, assumes you’ve connected the accounts to each of the check-in services.) The problem with privacy occurs when I uncheck those boxes asking if I want to share to Facebook and/or Twitter. Often times, GetGlue and Foursquare just straight up don’t listen.
Now, I don’t mean the actual check-in itself is sent to the various social networks but it is often the case that things within the GetGlue or Foursquare ecosystem as a result of your check-in are posted directly to Facebook or Twitter without your consent. Read more…
Just got this email in my inbox at 8 PM tonight EST. The message inside reads as follows:
Thanks for wanting to be a foursquare Superuser. You made the cut! As a Superuser Level 1, you can help keep foursquare venues organized. You’ll find your new tools at foursquare.com/—-secret stuffs here–.
Check out the links below for how you can use your new powers for good.
House Rules: best practices for using foursquare as a community
Superuser guidelines: info on what kind of edits to make and how to use the new tools available to you
Venue Style Guide: official foursquare style for making edits and creating venues
Superuser forum on our support site: where our dedicated Superuser community chats about common questions and issues
Now get out there and edit that venue that’s been bugging you for months!
– team foursquare
I am very honored to be chosen to be one of the new foursquare Superusers. Thanks so much to Brian @briang416 Gonsalves one of the first completely random people I met via Twitter during foursquare Day 2010 – we never actually made it to the Toronto celebration but we did manage to meet. He was also the only foursquare Superuser I knew and he helped me in my bid to become a Superuser – support from an existing Superuser helped push your application to the top of the pile.
I first found out about the search by foursquare for more Superusers about a week ago when I read this Aboutfoursquare blog post, “Foursquare looks to add more superusers“. From there I went to the application page at https://foursquare.com/user/upgrade and applied. I also asked Brian if he could give me an endorsement and he did – which probably helped a ton so thanks again Brian!
In writing this article I just found out that I can apply to become a Level 2 Superuser soon too! Wow! I went to the application page when I was getting the link for above and it told me this:
Hi! You were just recently upgraded to a Superuser Level 1. Continue being a model user and you can apply to be upgraded to Superuser Level 2 after 6/19/2011.
Cool beans! I promise to only use my newfound superpowers for truth, justice, and the North American way!!! I will combat misnamed and misplaced venues! Mind you, do you know of any that I should switch? Let me know in the comments and give me some proof as to the veracity of your claims and I will do like the crew of the Enterprise D and “make it so”!
Tomorrow is Foursquare Day!!! (OK, well technically it’s today. Sorry I’m so late on this I had Internet issues).
I helped a little bit on getting the City of Toronto involved and having Mayor Rob Ford sign a letter congratulating everyone for coming together.
Anyhow – this year is shaping up to be an uber-awesome for the Second Annual Foursquare Day in Toronto. Most of the details are available on the Meetup.com page located here: http://www.meetup.com/foursquare/Toronto-CA/88115/ as well as via their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/4sqdaytoronto and finally, via the Foursquare Day Toronto’s Twitter account here: http://www.twitter.com/4SQDayYYZ.
The event will be starting tomorrow at 8pm at the Firkin on King – 461 King Street West in downtown Toronto. Don’t be late because there’s going to be a Mill Street Brewery FREE tasting (of beer)!
Lots of giveaways and raffles and tons of superb awesome stuff going on!
There are some really great sponsors for the event including:
- LBMA (Official Media Sponsor) http://thelbma.com/
- Virgin Mobile Canada (Official Mobile Sponsor)http://www.virginmobile.ca/en/home/index.html
- Love Sewing & The Sewing Studio (same place mentioned in a previous post when I went to a Tweetup there) http://www.lovesewing.com/magazine/
- TIFF http://www.tiff.net
- Canadian Stage http://www.canadianstage.com/
- Mill Street Brewery http://www.millstreetbrewery.com/
- Chapters Indigo http://www.chapters.indigo.ca
- The Putting Edge http://www.puttingedge.com/
- iSkin http://www.iskin.com
- Evoke Salon http://www.salonevoke.com
- Rypple http://rypple.com/
- StickerYou http://www.stickeryou.com/
- MyCityLives http://www.mycitylives.com
- Institute of Communication Agencies / Advertising Week Canada http://www.icacanada.ca/ & http://www.advertisingweek.ca/
If you are a person who uses the popular location-based service (aka LBS) called Foursquare you may have noticed every time you check-in (+1 point) or check-in to a new place (+5 points) or add a new place to the database (+5 points) you get points. The more times you check-in each day (a day ends at 3:59am) the more points you get. So even if you have been to a place before if it is your 5th check-in of that day you will get 1 point for the check-in with 4 additional points for the previous check-ins of the day.
Foursquare also has a Leaderboard for each city and among your friends (see below for a screenshot of the top 20 of Toronto’s current list). Each week at 11:59pm on Sunday evening Foursquare resets the Leaderboard. If you have been reading this article carefully you already know how to game the system. If not, don’t worry I got you covered.
Because points build up over the course of a day which ends at 3:59am and the week ends at 11:59am it means there is a 4 hour time period early Monday morning (or Sunday night depending on how you look at it) when all your stops on Sunday at points to your tally for the new week which begins at 12:00am Monday morning because “Foursquare’s Sunday” doesn’t end until 3:59am. So if you have 15 check-ins from Sunday and you check-in to your 16th location on Monday morning at 12:15am you get 16 points for it being you 16th check-in of the day. This also means if you were to check-in to a new location you have never been to before AND you added it to Foursquare’s database you’d get +5 for each of those along with all the other points so that one check-in could end up gaining you 26 points while a lot of other people are sleeping or had lazy Sundays barely going anywhere. Check-in a couple more times and you’ll have 50+ points for 3-5 check-ins.
What is this good for? NOTHING. As far as I know, Foursquare has yet to announce ANY use whatsoever for the points. So, other than bragging rights to your friends which means taking a screenshot of the leaderboard Sunday night or even sending them a message right then to check out your total domination of the leaderboard which is occurring at that very moment you get nothing out of this ‘cheat’. This may be why Foursquare doesn’t really care about fixing this problem.
However, as I am posting this at 11:30pm Sunday evening now is your chance to take advantage of this for this coming week!
A couple of days ago it was announced that FourSquare had teamed up with GoGo WiFi (a company which offers in-flight WiFi) to offer their users a new badge to be earned on FourSquare – the Mile High Badge (see it below)
Now, I am a FourSquare user and I love collecting badges. I love that more and more companies and organizations are partnering with FourSquare to make more badges available as that helps make the game more fun. My question about this badge is rooted in this quote from the AboutFourSquare blog article where I read about this new badge: “The pricing for GoGo’s services vary from $4.95 for short flights to a $34.95/month unlimited option“. My question, as you may have guessed, is the title of this blog post:
Are people really going to be willing to pay $5 (or more) for a FourSquare Badge?
FourSquare is a game and right now badge collecting is a large facet of this game for a lot of people – especially those who don’t have many of their friends playing yet. To charge people to get a badge is slightly ridiculous and I personally don’t like the precedent it might set. I think the folks at FourSquare should be taking more time to figure out what use the points are going to be aside from being on a weekly reset leader board.
Not that I don’t think there is value in the service of having WiFi on a flight and then you can get this badge as a side bonus – especially as the majority of people who use FourSquare right now are the more tech inclined. I would totally pay for WiFi on a flight…except for the fact that there are now airlines who are offering this service for FREE! (Virgin America since May 2009). I think, in fact, I would rather the price was built in to my ticket and the companies offering GoGo WiFi could claim it as “free WiFi” too. (For all we know Virgin does that as well). For myself, if I am looking at any flight longer than the short hop from Toronto-NYC (1 hour) I would be willing to pay a little bit extra on my ticket for “Free” WiFi. Also, if a company did this they could probably get away with charging less per person for people to have WiFi on their flights because everyone on the flight is paying for it. This differs greatly from offering “Free meals” on a flight in that the WiFi signal is going to be there regardless of how many people are on the flight. You don’t ‘waste’ WiFi if no one uses it – unlike meals which if people refused probably (or at least I hope) went in the trash. AND because a very high percentage of people have cell phones which are WiFi enabled (BlackBerry, iPhone, Android devices etc) even if they don’t bring their laptops, netbooks, tablets, e-readers, etc with them on the plane they can still benefit from the WiFi by using it on their mobile devices.