This past Labor Day weekend I spent cruising around the streets of Chicago. Being from Wisconsin I have only been to Chicago a handful of times which may seem odd to many. Personally I am much more of a New Yorker (its a love affair really); my family traveled there just about every other month from the time I was in pre-school and still travel there regularly. My older brother and I were very lucky that my parents always let us tag along on their trips to NYC and anywhere else they were going....  Needless to say there is not much need for Chicago when you have NYC in reach. .


Getting to the topic of social and emerging media, on which this class focuses, I noticed how popular this cell phone app is, and with the ability to be linked through your Facebook account, Foursquare flourishes in larger metro areas. My two close girlfriends who live in Chicago both use it regularly, as being a part of this social media not only offers free advertising and publicity to the pubs, restaurants, and other popular attractions but offers the consumer discounted or free items for checking in at sponsored locations. The more you check into a particular location the better.  Participants are able to earn badges for visiting a cite a certain amount of times and if you frequent the location more than anyone else you have the ability to become the “mayor” of the location which then grants you more rewards in the form of free food or drink items or larger discounts.

I had heard of Foursquare or rather saw it being used by my friends on my Facebook status updates and just assumed it was one of those stupid Farmville type applications and dismissed it. It also seemed rather creepy that not only can people get a hold of me at any time because my blackberry is pretty much a part of my body, but now they can know where I am too. Not totally sure how I feel about that. Seems like a stalkers wet dream to be honest... The discounts and free stuff are pretty awesome though. No lie. And in a big city like Chicago or when I go back to NYC next, the perks of using Foursquare are pretty big.

For those of you that kind of knew what Foursquare was but were not completely sure its function here is the run down according to the Foursquare fan website (http://www.foursquaregame.com/

"... it's much more, foursquare is a location based social networking mobile app. Foursquare will help you meet up with your friends. Add to this, a fun game element featuring badges for achievements and accomplishments! It's an App for your iPhone, Blackberry, Android or mobile device. As the official foursquare fan says, this app is 50% a friend finder, 30% social city guide, and 20% nightlife game. It's a fun mobile social media game that makes exploring and visiting your own city lots of fun and new! If you are good at the game you can even achieve "The Mayor" status at certain locations in your city."

As far as I go. I am going to download it. I am not completely sure if it is something I will get into or not, but I am at least going to try it. If worse comes to worse it will end up like my twitter (ForestAnn is my name, FYI) and it will only get updated when facebook bores me.
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