In just a few minutes I’ll be heading over to V in Yaletown (at Earls) for the launch of Foursquare in Vancouver. I’ll be liveblogging from 5:00pm until 8:00pm so you’ll be sure to get the entire scoop about this latest craze.
For an overview of Foursquare, check them out here.
Update: To use Foursquare terminology, I have now checked-in at V in Yaletown (at Earls). I did a quick interview with John Biehler to introduce Foursquare and the reason why we’re all here this evening.
Update: Some people without smart phones (iPhone or Blackberry) are trying to “check in” using an SMS (text message) short code. It doesn’t seem to be working for Vancouver locations at the moment but maybe that’s something yet to be activated on the system.
Update: Heather Watson (aka Hez) just told me about Darren Barefoot’s blog post today about Foursquare’s launch in Vancouver and what it could means for businesses.
A Game-Changer for Local Business…. “Talk about an enticement to frequent visit this cafe, eh? Iâ€™m not sure what they are yet, but I can imagine that there will be all sorts of creative applications for real-world businesses. Consider, for example, a restaurant where each subsequent check-in in the same week gets you an additional 10% off? It feels like a game-changer for local businesses who havenâ€™t necessarily seen the point of having a robust web presence.”
Update: You can also read this article from Mashable: Foursquare: Why it May be the Next Twitter.
Update: I’m trying to figure out if there’s a Mayor of Earls in Yaletown yet. Apparently if you check into a location the most, you become its “Mayor” on Foursquare.
Update: Regarding Foursquare’s privacy issues, since you do share your phone number and exact location, I got some feedback from Travis Smith of Hop Studios. “I think it’s going to be interesting to see who “friends” who,” said Travis. “Because you can follow people on Twitter but on Foursquare you’re sharing much more personal information about yourself.”
Many people compartmentalize their social media spaces… for example my husband only approves and “friends” people on Facebook that he’s met in person. As for Twitter, that could be more informal and you could follow back anyone that looks interesting. With Foursquare, you share your location (and in turn your phone number as it is a mobile application) so it definitely changes things.
Update: When you check in this evening you will get a stamp or ticket, which you can redeem for a Foursquare cocktail (a watermelon martini).
Update: Heather and I keep being mistaken for the “hosts” of tonight’s event since we’re both sitting here with laptops… in a bar.
Update: There are a lot of new faces here tonight, and by new I mean those I don’t usually see at social media events. It’s a good thing as it means the word is spreading about these applications (even if they’re just for fun… err or badges… or global domination).
Update: Chris Mathieson just arrived and overheard someone leaving the event saying, “I thought there were going to be more nerds.” I guess I know a lot of nerds.
Update: Just to explain a bit more about Foursquare… when you get to a location, be it a coffee shop, pub, or library of choice, open up the application to check in. You can either select the venue from the list or add the venue to the directory. When you add a venue or location you collect points. When you check in to a location you get points as well. At some point these turn into badges, which are the ultimate marks of uber-Foursquare…ers.
Update: Stacie Biehler just discovered that when I posted my check in to Earls, it published to Twitter as “I’m at V at Earls Yaletown w/ @StacieBee. http://bit.ly/gVfkk”. We figure that we both checked in at the same time so it automatically said we were together. Cool. A little creepy. But cool.
Update: To further the “multiple check in” features, apparently when you check in to a location at the same time as 3 members of the opposite sex you are awarded a “Player Please” badge. Jenn Lowther just received this at Earls, as displayed automatically on her Twitter profile: “I just unlocked the “Player Please!” badge on @foursquare! http://bit.ly/iAZy5″
Update: People are coming and going while I update and try to re-upload my introduction video, which took me about 50 minutes to process last time before it got lost. With the new waves of Foursquare enthusiasts come first-time meetings with a lot of my Twitter followers.
Brian Wong of FollowFormation, just stopped by and told me about 140tc, a Twitter conference at the end of this month down in LA. Halfway through our conversation a bird was spotted. Yes, a real live bird is here to collect Foursquare badges (I wonder if Twitter put him up to this).
Update: I’m getting more information about the “Mayor” process. Apparently if you’re the first person to check in twice to a location you then become its Mayor. I’m not sure if this changes hands or what… but I’ll investigate further.
Update: Okay solved the “Mayor” mystery… just by checking the FAQ: ” Pretty simple: If you’ve got more check ins than anyone else at a particular place, we deem you “The Mayor” of that place. But once someone else comes along who has checked in more times that you, they then steal the “Mayor” title back from you.”
Update: Tip for iPhone users, once you sign up you’ll be getting notifications to your email or phone for everything… when people add you, when you unlock a badge etc. You can turn notifications off by going to Settings > Notifications. You’ll still be able to see your messages but only when you open the app or login online.
Update: I’ve heard the after party is happening over at Glowbal in Yaletown. Head on over there to check in with Foursquare and enjoy more festivities.
Update: In case you were wondering, it has been confirmed. The parrot’s name is Baby Picasso.