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foursquare startup check-ins

September 18, 2011

This weekend starts the annual foursquare global hackathon along with the launch of foursquare’s new/updated API boosting new features. Foursquare has a development community over 10,000 strong and this weekend participates are looking to add to the number along with a chance of winning a few prizes. There’s not a foursquare hackathon event being held in Raleigh, NC but I have a few friends across the country participating at other city hacathons. I’m looking forward to seeing their progress and ideas being launched over the weekend.

While thinking about the hackathon I thought about what I would build if I attended and also some of my previous foursquare check-ins. This had me thinking about something I almost tweeted during the summer while I was in CA for NewMe Accelerator. I felt it would come off a little arrogant but I’ll post it in this blog post now. The tweet was something like this. ” I may be the only black guy (not that race matters,oh wait) or person in the world who has check-in into both foursquare SF HQ and foursquare NY HQ, Apple Inc, Twitter Inc, Facebook HQ, Gowalla HQ, Hipster HQ, Google HQ (googolplex 43), Google Ventures HQ, Envolve HQ, Yammer HQ, Path Inc, Disqus, Yobongo, 500startups, Mozilla HQ, iContact HQ and bonus BlueRun Ventures all in the past year or year and a half. I may haven’t launched a popular startup or one with million of users, YET but if you was to judge my experience and relationships based off my foursquare check-ins it won’t be long. :) Oh yeah, I have the check-ins to prove it too. Just click on the links but…. who cares right?

As for ideas if I was at the foursquare global hackathon I have a few, one I won’t share because I still may build it, the other would be to finish Hound App that I started working on during the summer and another would be a few better ways to embed a previous single foursquare check-ins into a website/blog and ways to check into a website to foursquare that mashes up with google analytics or another real time analytics platform. Just a thought.

Speaking of embedding foursquare check-ins, a few ways you can visualize all one your foursquare check-ins, are by accessing your rss or kml feed of your foursquare history and embedding it into google maps or using an app like weeplaces. Take a look at my 2806 foursquare check-ins below.

View Larger Map

What would you like to see developers build using the foursquare api during foursquare’s global hackathon?

10,000,000 strong!


I’m a few days late on this post as I was traveling last week to attend Where 2.0 location conference but if you were lucky enough to attend the The New York Auto Show last week and wanted to save $1,000.00 off your next Mercedes-Benz all you had to do was check-in with foursquare. Awesome right?

2011 Mercedes SLS AMG Gull Wing
Photo credit: 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG Gull Wing Photo by: ccho on flickr at the New York 2011 International Auto Show.

Here’s a quote from the press announcement.

In its first-ever Foursquare promotional offer, geo-social users checking in at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, NY, will be encouraged to locate a Mercedes product specialist and show him or her their phone screen. Then, they will receive a $1,000 off voucher for a new car purchase. NYIAS 2011 runs from Friday through May 1.

“We are not nibbling around and watching Ford, Lexus, and GM try these things,” said Steve Cannon, the German carmaker’s U.S. VP of marketing. “I believe you’ve got to dive in.”


While I’ll give Mercedes-Benz a B- for using foursquare at the New York Auto Show and I’m sure some people who are looking to buying a new Mercedes-Benz are like awesome a $1,000 the promotion is also like giving away a one free doughnut when you’re buying a dozen. But at least Mercedes-Benz is trying and didn’t just try to offer a check-in badge. I think a better deal and/or promotion would have been the following:

  • A special 2011 Mercedes-Benz auto show foursquare check-in badge with the $1,000 off
  • One free Mercedes-Benz to a foursquare user  checking in during the  2011 New York Auto Show
  • Either $4,000 off for the first 400 or 100 foursquare check-ins (get it, “4”) plus badges
  • A nation wide foursquare badge and special at all Mercedes-Benz dealerships during the New York Auto Show
  • Include all marketing channels (TV, Radio, Web/social) which I’m still don’t get why more companies don’t use all of their marketing resources to promote a LBS and/or social promotion. Then they wonder why it didn’t provide the results they thought it would.

Note: Mercedes-Benz may have offerend more and I just haven’t read or seen it.

Do you think the “Save $1,000 off a Mercedes-Benz with a foursquare Check-In at The New York Auto Show” was a good idea or do you think Mercedes-Benz could have done more or something else with foursquare?

via Mercedes’ 1st Gear on Foursquare: $1,000 Check-Ins [Video] | ClickZ.
tip Mercedes-Benz offers $1,000 off a car for checking in at the NY Auto Show | About Foursquare

Earlier today I wrote a post about how to earn various Super Bowl check in badges with foursquare, Getglue, Miso, IntoNow & ScreenTribe. During the Super Bowl, I checked in using all five apps earned four badges and took a few screenshots to estimate the check-in numbers. Take a look:

Who checked into the super bowl Who checked into the super bowl

Who checked into the super bowl Who checked into the super bowl

Not shown is ScreenTribe but early numbers looks like over 68,000 people checked into the Super Bowl with Foursquare, Getglue, Miso, IntoNow & ScreenTribe. Note, these numbers are just an estimate right after Super Bowl 45 half-time and does not include check-in numbers from the actual Super Bowl game in Texas.

Did you check into Super Bowl 45 and/or earn any new badges?

From @alexiskold CEO/founder of GetGlue

@waynesutton we have 20,000 checkins via 11,000 unique people.Mon Feb 07 04:30:19 via web

foursquare Super Bowl Venue numbers

Super Bowl Sunday

Couch potating
flickr photo by alvi2047

Super Bowl 45 is today between the Green Bay Packers vs the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL along with various brands have all gone social media crazy this year. For Super Bowl 45 we have everything from pre released Super Bowl commercials trying to go “viral” such as my personal favorite the VW’s “The Force” Super Bowl Ad to anti super bowl marketing such as the Network Solutions GoGranny campaign. Visa even has a social media, twitter, measuring dashboard where you can tweet from at


Not to be left out of the social media conversations and Super Bowl hype foursquare has partnered with the to reward foursquare users who check into the actual Super Bowl game in Texas with a special badge. For everyone else watching the big game, you can shout “Go Steelers” or “Go Packers” with your foursquare check-in to unlock a Steelers or Packers team badge. The foursquare Super Bowl Sunday promotion is the startups first global venue and something I believe is the beginning of a pivot for foursquare as they could join other media check in apps to allow foursquare users to check into TV shows, movies along with offering group discounts to compete with Groupon and living social. It’s something I mentioned yesterday during an interview with News14. You can watch the News14 interview here: Foursquare offers ‘Super’ deals for football fans.

But what if you’re not using foursquare? There now four applications that allow you to check into any TV show or movie. Three of the apps I reviewed previously in a post called 3 Ways to check-in to your favorite TV show or movie which mentioned Miso, GetGlue, ScreenTribe and now there’s a forth one called IntoNow.

intonow intonow

IntoNow tagline reads “Connect with your friends around the shows you love” and the iPhone app acts like a Shazam but for TV shows. I really like the simplicity and interface of IntoNow. It’s a much watch startup.

What is your favorite media/tv check-in app?

foursquare sees 3400% Growth in 2010, LBS will go mainstream in 2011 - infographic

Also see:
7 Awesome Foursquare infographics showing how users are collecting badges and checking in.