The Gong

The mostly official blog of the Hodges Partnership.

Foursquare Pros: Helpful, Fun, And Good

April 06, 2010 | by Jon Newman

Jeff Kennett(Editor's note:  This is the first of two guest posts in a "Foursquare Faceoff."  This is from Jeff Kennett is a social media fan who lives in Glen Allen, VA with wife Annette and their two rescue dogs. He runs the Greater Richmond iPhone Users Group Jeff’s on LinkedIn at and welcomes new connections.)

I’m sitting outside at Stony Point Fashion Park enjoying the sudden pretty Spring weather and free WiFi. I’m writing a guest post for Jon’s blog on my MacBook Pro. Just overheard teenspeak “didjacheckin?” They are likely referring to checking in on Foursquare. Which reminds me…am I the mayor yet? Nope. Am I at least beating @TrevorDickerson on the leader board? Not even close. Darn. Oh wait, Foursquare shows that friends @SummerOfJay and @RCRover are having coffee at Ellwood Thompson’s. I’ll head over there to catch up with them. Thanks Foursquare! The experience is richer as more people use Foursquare, but there is still plenty of value in sharing location info with your other social networks. I recently checked in at a Panera Bread and my Twitter friend @kelleil saw the tweet.  She stopped by and we met for the first time in real life.  My friend Griff saw that same check in on Facebook, called my iPhone, and asked he could join me for lunch and Florida chat. Foursquare, therefore, can be helpful in enhancing real world social interactions. Even if you don’t choose to ever check in, Foursquare still offers you benefits. Other users post To-Dos or Tips at locations. You can view a list of nearby locations and see info left by others who have been there before you. That’s good. People are naturally competitive. Foursquare realized that. They built in game elements that are key to the whole experience. In fact, there are half a dozen other “check in” services that will simply broadcast your location. I’ve maintained for some time that Brightkite does the best job of “guessing” your location. Foursquare users like to compete for the badges, points, and mayorships. Jon has written about the sense of community those of us who sought the Swarm Badge felt. I just saw a conversation on Twitter about the ethics of checking in today because the gal forgot yesterday and really wanted her points. I’m very happy to be the mayor of the cool, newly opened @TheWineLoftRVA and was excited to have “stolen” the mayorship from @RichmondMom. Fun competition is good. What does all this social goodness and gaming cost? Just about 30 seconds of your time to complete the check in. Foursquare is free of charge or even advertising. There are apps available for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm Pre. You can use the mobile-aware website. You can even check in via plain text message. Free is good. Pros: You can enhance connections with friends in the real world. You can discover new places by reading to-dos and tips. Helpful. You can compete for badges, points, and mayorships. Fun. It’s free and accessible from multiple devices. Good.

Picture of Jon Newman

Jon Newman

Jon worked on-air and in management at a number of radio and TV news organizations in New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia before joining The Martin Agency. He parlayed his media background into national media placements for countless clients, and that media relations focus is still a core competency at The Hodges Partnership. As the media landscape has changed, Jon’s focus now also includes social and digital media. Read all posts by Jon Newman »

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Picture of Kate Hall

By Kate Hall on April 06, 2010

I WILL GET MY MAYORSHIP BACK!! And great article Jeff ;-)

Picture of Jay

By Jay on April 06, 2010

I guess I’m a minor Twitter / Foursquare celeb now that I’ve been mentioned in a blog post! Good write-up Jeff.

Also note that many venues are now offering discounts or other specials to those that check-in or are Mayor of the establishment.

Maybe you should mention that to @TheWineLoftRVA ;)

Picture of Ben Holland

By Ben Holland on April 08, 2010

I don’t use Foursquare, so I’m kind of out of the loop. I’ve used Britekite in the past, though. Honestly, I am kind of indifferent to this new element of social media, other than the fact that it’s an indication of a growing trend-an open willingness to broadcast every mundane part of your day.

I get that social media brings people together. I won’t argue with that. But it’s just not that revelatory.

That said, this sort of makes me think about my current occupation in the energy world. I listened to a podcast today about the future of our grid being completely networked. Much like we give healthcare companies and banks highly private information, electric utilities will soon assume a similar role. Interoperability. Everything tied together.

Sorry, this is really off topic, but there are common themes running through completely different industries.

Picture of Talking Foursquare Pros & Cons – Third W

By Talking Foursquare Pros & Cons – Third W on April 09, 2010

[...] Hodges Partnership, recently featured a pair of guest bloggers on his PR 1.5 blog. The guest-posts Jeff Kennet and Jeff Kraus, respectively, addressed the trending topic of Foursquare and its pros/cons. The [...]

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