Maybe you have heard about Foursquare? If not, It’s a relatively new concept in “social networking- meets- gaming” that was launched in March of 2009.
Foursquare.com is a location based service and uses the concept of “checking in” at various locations, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, nightspots, etc. What it does is tell you where your friends are, and it tells your friends where you are. Like all social networking sites, it allows you to meet new people as well. You can opt to receive alerts when your friends “check in” and get updates on their whereabouts.
The point of the game? To earn points. The points don’t get you anything tangible, however the more you check in, the more points you receive. There is a leader board for the players with the most points, and the frequency of your visits and “check ins” at locations earn you badges. If you check in at a location the most times you become the “mayor” of it, also earning a badge. You can also create a “to-do” list which includes places you want to go and see.
How does this help you in travel? Along with the fun features of “checking in”, earning badges, earning status, as well as having a lot of bragging rights about where you go and what you see while you’re there, Foursquare users add updates and tips to their posts about their experiences at various locations.
Tips might include what the best dishes are at a specific restaurant- or which ones to avoid, who to ask for at a coffee shop to get the best latte, what time is the best time to arrive at a night spot, what the best movie theaters are in the area, local events that you might not have otherwise known about, etc.
Foursquare is a free service, as are most major social networking sites. Signing up is easy, the file size is small, but there are some limitations. Foursquare is available for most mobile devices including Blackberry, i Phone, Android, PDA’s, i Pad, Computers, etc. Some devices, especially older models may not support the application.
Whether you want to play to prove that you’re the master of all you survey, or you simply want to know where to find the best and freshest scones to accompany your caramel macchiato, Foursquare is the place to be, or is at least the place to check in at.
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