Are You Participating In Foursquare Day on April 16?

This Friday (April 16), more than 100 cities around the globe will participate in Foursquare Day, a day where “mayors” will surely be un-seated, unique badges awarded and swarms of iPhone-clad digiratis will flock to public places and do only God knows what.

From PC World: “Check-in at more places, and at the same place more frequently, than other users to generate the highest amount of points in your area and earn special badges for specific kinds of check-ins. For example, a user who checks into 20 different pizza places can earn the coveted “Pizzaiolo” badge, or the “Swarm” badge for checking into a Foursquare venue with at least 50 other users.”

Will you participate? C’mon. You know you want that “Pizzialo” badge. Although, college frats may have dibs on that. Also, what LA? not participating? #shockedbummedsad

For the working bit, check out the nifty list of participating businesses and sponsors:
Smart People List #1
Smart People List #2

Full piece here.

#FINALLY Foursquare for BlackBerry

Last week, the long awaited Foursquare mobile app was made available to BlackBerry users.

Must we take it seriously? Hell, yes. Just look at the numbers.

In North America, for example, the iPhone accounts for 65% of mobile usage, while the DROID and BlackBerry are at 8% and rising. In Europe, the iPhone accounts for 46% of mobile usage, while the DROID and BlackBerry are at 3% and rising. Source: Quantcast Mobile Report

At first blush, it may seem too small a number to consider when looking at Big Daddy iPhone, but we’re talking about potentially reaching tens of millions, not forgetting Asia and Oceania where BlackBerry usage is even greater. Also consider London, LA and NYC were some of the biggest users of Foursquare even before the BlackBerry app.

Think about the typical BlackBerry user. We either own our own device out of necessity or have it assigned to us for work purposes. Why? To remain “plugged-in” while on-the-go. Will the urge to “check-in” from our favorite lunch meeting spot be too hard to resist? Only time will tell.

For now, I recommend signing up and trying out the Beta. It may not be perfect for all of your clients, but certainly something you’ll want to bring to the next board meeting.

Move Over, Hairy Drifter. FourSquare @ Your Local Hop

It’s okay if you’re still scratching your head over the FourSquare piece in the Chicago Tribune.

What is FourSquare? The Trib. describes it nicely:
“Playing Foursquare involves exploring restaurants, pubs and coffee shops in major metro areas. The payoff for playing can range from special deals or freebies at eating and drinking establishments to scoring points, Boy Scout-like badges and ‘mayorships,’ essentially bragging rights for hanging out at particular locations.”

So you earn merit badges and free stuff for places you already go, things you already do. Sweet.

Whoa, Nellie. Cue ye auld business model. Again, via the Tribune:
“Foursquare is focused on getting as many businesses as possible to add discounts and other promotions to Foursquare, said Tristan Walker, who is in charge of business development and is a second-year student at Stanford Business School.”

Are we cool sharing our getaways with another logo? I’m still getting over seeing birdies and “follow us on Facebook” messages on everything from the bus to bathroom walls. Yeesh.

For retailers, this is a no brainer. For the organic and grassroots set, you may need to ask yourself if a corporate partnership will help or harm your brand identify.

Am I complaining? Heck no. It’s called the Virgin America Terminal at LAX. Just a hint.