FourSquared

FourSquared

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Mayor of Mount Union

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Foursquare, the mobile “game” where you can checkin to various venues around your city to get points, might just be coming to Mount Union in the coming year. While students have long been able to checkin to buildings on campus, an official launch of a Mount Union presence on Foursquare would bring a whole new dimension to this game.

Take the picture above for example. What would it be like if there were “rewards” for the mayor, the person who has the most checkins on a rolling 7-day average, scattered throughout the campus. Maybe the mayor of Mount Union’s University Store gets a 15% off voucher, or there might be a few reserved parking spots as well. The possibilities are endless.

There are some hiccups I foresee if Mount Union chooses to pursue the “rewards” aspect of Foursquare too quickly. For one, I don’t think it would be right to leave out the students who don’t have a smartphone from the fun and someone would have to keep a close eye on certain venues to make sure no one cheats. How would you check to see if someone who didn’t have their phone on them was the actual mayor?

However, these are all problems that arise only if Mount Union tries too hard to get into the Foursquare game. Although details are scarce, I think a good implementation of a Foursquare + Mount Union effort would be a corner of the website (mountunion.edu/foursquare?) or a place on the new media screens we have all around the Hoover-Price Campus Center. For visitors to the campus, they could unlock a “Purple Raider Badge” documenting their trip. Nothing too drastic, but a nice hat-tip to those playing.

Keep an eye out for news in the next year about Mount Union and Foursquare. I hope it shapes up to be another cool way to interact with current and incoming students outside of Facebook and Twitter. And while my dream of students being able to checkin to class for attendance seems very far off, this is a great first step to get people out and exploring our campus.

Mayor of Mount Union

Mayor of Mount Union

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Mayor of Mount Union

foursquare

The more people I meet at Mount, the more I realize what a tech-savvy group of students we are. I would bet almost every single student uses some form of social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and many of us are walking around with smartphones.

However, aside from the typical Facebook and Twitter interactions, I’ve noticed another trend starting – geolocation check-ins. If you’re not sure what this means, maybe you’ll recognize the name of the service: Foursquare.

Foursquare is a service you can use by text message, or their official iPhone / Droid / Blackberry apps. The idea behind Foursquare is simple – whenever you go to a building, store, or other venue, you can “check in” to that spot and get points for doing so. The person with the most points over a period of the last 30 days is deemed the “mayor” of that venue.

There may not be anything too cool about just having the title “mayor” and your picture next to the venue listing on Foursquare, however what IS cool are the deals that stores are starting to give people who either check in, or are the current mayor. I recently got a free order of breadsticks with a pizza from the local Pizza Hut just for being the mayor there.

Foursquare is essentially a way to let venues reward their loyal visitors, however it seems to have extended beyond the stores and into the campuses. This past week, I’ve seen check-ins at all the residence halls, HPCC and KHIC. While I doubt there will be any real “discounts” for being the mayor of any of the buildings on campus, I do think that Foursquare is only going to become more popular among the students here. It’s fun, addictive and trying to achieve mayor status at your favorite buildings against your friends add that layer of competition.

If you haven’t heard of Foursquare before, I encourage you to check it out at foursquare.com and from there you can download its apps and set up your account.

Oh, and if you do end up signing up, feel free to add me as a friend. Although I should warn you … I’m the current mayor of the University of Mount Union. Game on.