Keeping the 4sqDay Spirit Alive Year Round

We Foursquare lovers look forward to April 16th all year. Not only can we get cool specials and swag at our fave local businesses, we can also hang out with people in person that we bump into virtually all year round—the people whose avatar greet us when we open the app to check in, or who taunt us on Twitter when they steal mayorship of a hotly contested venue. On 4sqDay, we gather with our community Leaderboard battlers and break bread and toast glasses—but how can we make that feeling last all year?

Last year, in 2012, our community had a rip-roaring 4sqDay that left me longing to reproduce that convivial feeling on a regular basis with the abudance of amazing people checking in all over our city. This sparked two meetups beyond 4sqDay—4sqFriday and Portsmouth Breakfast Club.

One of the Twitter promos that our local 4sqDay organizers ran was a fill-in-the-tweet contest: “This year I will celebrate 4sqday by ____.” I filled the blank with “play actual foursquare with a red bouncy ball,” and the event coordinator at our community meetup made it happen. We had so much fun playing actual foursquare (and re-learning the rules), that we all decided we’d meet to play after work on Friday afternoon every week as weather allowed. It lasted well until the fall, when cold winds and hectic schedules dismantled the gatherings, but it was a great way to mingle, start the weekend, and get some blood flowing—not to mention the good-natured fights over the mayorship of the court itself! We plan to start 4sqFriday again come spring.

Another great meetup which has been going strong (and getting consistently larger) is Portsmouth Breakfast Club (#portsbkfstclub). It all started just a few weeks after 4sqDay with this tweet. And so it began—we have met every Wednesday morning since at 6:48am (because 6:45 is just too early), sharing updates on our fave apps (like Foursquare!), discussing tech news and new trends in social media, and generally catching up over coffee and bagels. It’s become an invaluable part of our weeks, and something that we rely on to stay on top of what’s going on in our community, both local and virtual.

That’s what 4sqDay is all about—using a common interest to get together with others in your community and learning more about them and from them. This same spirit of community connection can keep going all year—if YOU keep it going!

Be creative and find what works best for you community: an in-person meetup, a weekly hangout on G+, or participating in Monday night #4sqchat.

What will YOU do to perpetuate the 4sqDay spirit year round? Let us know!

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4sqDay Communities – Start Your Engines!

png-1(image: 4sqDay 2013 Turkey)

With 4sqDay 2013 just around the corner we wanted to make sure 4sqDay fans and community organizers (that’s you!) have everything they need to have a great 4sqDay!

So read on, get excited, and get to it!

1. Familiarize yourself with 4sqDay:

If you aren’t familiar with what 4sqDay is, take a look at this blog post from Foursquare. You’ll be a 4sqDay expert in no-time.

2. Make sure you tell Foursquare that you are celebrating:

Head over to the Foursquare Meetup site, find and click on your community in the list (or add one if it’s not there) and then RSVP to the 4sqDay 2013 meetup event. Then encourage all your friends in your community to do the same!

3. Are you organizing a meetup in your area? You could get limited edition 4sqDay swag!

Register your 4sqDay event here because Foursquare will be sending a limited edition 4sqDay item (new year, new swag!) to as many 4sqDay meetups that register as possible. They will consider everyone’s requests, but due to high demand, larger meetups have priority (they’ll be checking RSVP numbers, so make sure to include a link to the event/invite).

4. Throw a 4sqDay party on 4/16:

To get started, check out our post from year’s past on how to throw a great party for your community on 4sqDay. Update your community’s meetup.com 4sqDay event with your new plans and then be sure to tweet about your event and use the hashtag #4sqday!

5. Get businesses involved

Encourage local businesses to sign up for Foursquare using Foursquare’s business signup page and then register a special offer for 4/16. Connect with your local chamber of commerce to superpower this effort. Then share the news of businesses in you area providing 4sqDay offers within your community and go out and patronize those businesses on 4sqDay! Additional ideas and resources for local businesses can be found here.

6. Get the real Mayor of your town or city to proclaim 4/16 as 4sqDay!

We did it last year and you can do it, too! Check out all the cities that have proclaimed in the past, then read 4sqCincy’s blog post on how they got their Mayor to proclaim 4/16 as 4sqDay.

7. Talk to the media!

Call up the newspapers and talk to your local TV and radio. Consider a press release. 4sqDay, as a grassroots movement, makes a great and positive story. Maybe do something cool and newsy at exactly 4:16PM in your timezone. Don’t forget to post the pictures and the videos online!

8. Snag the official 4sqDay 2013 tshirt

Foursquare has designed an awesome 4sqDay 2013 tshirt this year and made them available for order. Snag one for yourself to celebrate!

9. Most importantly, have a great 4sqDay!

Have fun and let us know what you’ll be doing on 4/16 to celebrate in the comments below!

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Storytelling via Foursquare – Media in Latvia

This is another post that was written some time ago by one of our favourite  foursquare bloggers,  Mareks Matisons (@marruciic) but got misplaced in the transition to the new blog. I absolutely love reading about foursquare in Latvia! -Nate

 

One of my all time favorite fairy-tales starts with something like “it happened in those old days when the good times were..” – and I love the fact that my short story will cover the “good old times” when nobody expected Carmine Gallo book to be printed..

By the way – the book Power of Foursquare unveils dozens of examples how Foursquare can be used..

So – back to the “good old times” and to the small country near the Baltic sea – Latvia.

We have an extremely popular news portal delfi.lv. It has grown from a simple news site to a complex informations gateway – with national news, stories from abroad, pictures, e-mail possibility etc. Just like a CNN – just some hundred times smaller. Still, Delfi is the most visited news resource in Latvia and has longest history.

And they started to play with foursquare.

But not the way some brands are doing, which is by writing comercial tips or sharing stories nobody really would like to read.

Delfi has built it’s foursquare presence by being humorous and educational in the same time.

Some of the tips are truly with the message “You won’t be expecting this“ - thats how they named brand’s list on foursquare.

Some of the places listed are not traditonal public places. One example, The Poetry House, is a abandoned building where on the walls of the building you cans read some fun stuff – a modern poetry critisising government. You can remember a certain liquor store which will be held in the collective memory because of first mass riots in our country.  And Delfi also did write the tip on the one of famous bridges in our capital city with a grinning smile – this place will be remebered for the local terrorist who climbed up to the bridge and demanded sweets during the debate with authorities.

Does it sound that Dlefi has been focused more on a criminal deeds and tried to memorize them in foursquare? Nope! There are lots of good memories too and fun places to count in while planing a slow foursquare walk in Riga.

From one perspective – the most known internet resource does not need a recognition in a social network which is just gaining the popularity in the country. From the other – only with foursquare our collective memory can be expanded, because in the news site you specifically need to know the element what to search. Foursquare tips are giving the possibility to tell – where and what happened. And actually bring the history out to the streets.

(Final note, you can read our interview with the author of Power of Foursquare here. -Nate)

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Where can you find 4sqDay Online?

So many selections

We know that in addition to using foursquare users have their own personal preferences for how they connect to others and get information. Thanks to all our awesome volunteers we have 4sqDay represented on lots of networks.

Foursquare:

Of course we have a foursquare account! Feel free to suggest tips we should leave!

Facebook:

Of all the ways to connect with us is the biggest social network of all. We have over 11,000 likes on our Facebook Page.

Twitter:

We use the Twitter account to ask questions and follow information using the hash tag #4sqDay.

Instagram:

Do you like to share and comment on pictures? Be sure to follow us on Instagram!

Google+

The newest place to get information is Google+! If you are a G+ user you can join the others who have circled us here. We look forward to providing unique content in the new space. And maybe – gasp – Hangouts! :)

Empire Avenue:

Come invest and engage with us on this virtual stock market! For those who are not familiar with Empire Avenue, it is a great tool to monitor your social media engagement and connect with others! Join the party!

Klout:

Hey, we’re on Twitter, right? Well, we stop in on Klout and hand out a few +Ks once and a while, so feel free to do the same and be sure to +K your fellow foursquare fanatics too!

Fitocracy:

Joining us in getting more or back in shape before 4sqDay 2013? Join this fitness and work out discussion on Fitocracy.

 

Do you have a favorite social network or way to get information and you want foursquare day be represented? And then let us know! We are always looking for more volunteers to spread the word so if you think you your community would benefit e-mail us!

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The evolution of the “4sqDay” Name…

Over the more than 2 years since “Foursquare Day”  has been around, there has been some confusion about the best way to write it. Even among the founders, when we were first organizing the day in 2010, there was discussion about whether it should or shouldn’t be “foursquare day” or “Foursquare Day” or “4sqday” or “4SQDAY.” And so on.

In the very beginning I used “Foursquare Day” – (spelled out, capitalized). Back then, people didn’t know how foursquare itself handled the capitalization issue (lower case).  This usage is still in effect in our Facebook Page, since we can’t edit its name. (Help on this, anyone? Thanks!) However, almost immediately after that we created I created the Twitter account and, to save space, used “4sqDay.” That was then used for the website.

There’s been some discussion of whether it should be “D” or d in 4sqDay but that consensus finally was that we should use the capital to emphasize the “day” part better. 4sqday also looks a little lazier.

Now, for the sake of consistency as well as to help make a distinction between the grass-roots, volunteer, unofficial organization of 4sqDay and the official company foursquare, we recommend using “4SqDay” in all instances when you are referring to either April 16, our blog or social network accounts that we maintain. It is short and easy and makes foursquare feel a little better, understandably. Lots of people do not understand the distinction and this can help, at least a little bit.

I hope this clears up the confusion without getting all kinds of legalese up in here. :-)

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