Foursquare on Amex Homepage

I went to the homepage of and this is what I saw. I’m absolutely amazed by this. I think it was pretty cool to have worked on one of Foursquare’s earliest partnerships — but seeing Foursquare’s development since then come so far is astounding. 

I’ll take that TO GO

Crazy week in the world of mobile, social and food… but I survived!

This week saw the launch of my big app, ZAGAT TO GO 4.0 for iPhone. The launch included a sizable integration with Foursquare that includes check ins but goes way beyond; think meal tips and dining history. And thanks to some new friends at Foodspotting, there’s now a visual menu included of the best dishes at restaurants. Of course, I’m partial to the Dining Journal…  :)

Here’s the roundup of the coverage:




Mobile Marketer (Interview)


Into Mobile


Hard work finally pays off… 

New iPhone app from Zagat features foursquare tips and check-in functionality. Yum!

Hard work finally pays off… 


New iPhone app from Zagat features foursquare tips and check-in functionality. Yum!

There are 52 people checked-in to the movie theater on Foursquare. 52! You could play a game a cards with them.

Wanted Foursquare Badges: A Wish List

I’ve been using foursquare for quite some time now and people know I’m a big fan.  When it comes to badges I had the privilege of working on the Zagat foodie badge , which became popular enough to generate public demand for it in cities from Seattle to DC. In fact, those cities will see the badge real soon…

The badges have always been the differentiating element in my opinion. Early on they’re effective in keeping you engaged while you’re building your network and a good incentive later on as you’re pleasantly surprised that you unlocked the Off The Wagon badge. Personally I think there are some fun badge opportunities beyond the great ones that are already out there.  And from what I understand there’s no shortage of suggestions.  So I’ll chime in with my wish list of new badges and hope someone takes notice. My thought process around new badges accelerated after foursquare (smartly) added segmentation by venue type a few months back. Most of these badges are predicated on the fact that a venue is listed or tagged as a certain type of venue (dive bar, restaurant, etc). This list is New York centric, but foursquare’s a New York company so without further ado…


Ghostbusters Badge

How You Get It: Check in to all of the major landmarks from the original Ghostbusters movie. Check in to the firehouse that was their headquarters (near Varick Street), the New York Public Library, Columbia University, Central Park West, etc.

Background: It’s Ghostbusters. Nothing more needs to be said.

Message: “You’ve just unlocked the Ghostbusters Badge! Now if someone asks if you’re a god, you say YES!”


How You Get It: Check in to any nightspot where the ratio of males to females is 10 to 1 or greater, with a minimum threshold of 20 people.

Background: I was partly inspired by the Facebook app of the same name.  Now that foursquare differentiates venue types, I thought the badge should only apply to nightspots.  Why you ask? Because there are certain (cough… tech) events that would make this badge too common.

Message:  I’m going to leave this one up to the imagination.


Walk of Shame Badge  

How You Get it: Check in to a clothing store before 10am on a weekday. Clothing shops are already tagged appropriately.

Background: Because you really can’t wear that dress from last night to work. Or wear the same striped shirt.

Message: “Remember, you ripped your pants this morning and had to buy a new outfit. It’s not a lie if you believe it”

Who won’t be happy: Anyone employed at a department store that checks in to work.


Bridge and Tunnel

How You Get It: Visit a nightlife venue in the evening and then check in to Grand Central or Penn Station after midnight. Friday and Saturday nights only.

Background: This one was tough. No one actually checks in to bridges and or tunnels with regularity, and certainly not late at night so that’s not a viable trigger. Maybe you could take a Manhattan based nightlife check-in and a New Jersey/Long Island check-in the same night after midnight. Either or could work but now you’ve got a fairly complex badge unlock. For the record, I would have unlocked this badge several times if 4sq was around years ago.

Message: “Hold your head up high. Your closet is twice the size of a Manhattan apartment”


Ladies Who Lunch

How You Get It:  10x check ins to a restaurant during the daytime on a weekday. Of course you must be with at least one other female. The badge is female only (anyone have ideas for other gender based badges?), and the restaurant must be Zagat-Rated.

Background: This one is pretty straightforward and one you really need to work to achieve. Of course you could just be someone who power lunches…  but people would still be amused they unlocked the badge anyway. Still, it doesn’t answer the age old question of “how is this person jogging and walking their dog at 2PM on a Tuesday”.

Message: “I can’t believe he broke up with her via Twitter!” “At least it was a DM.”  “Yeah, imagine if someone RT!”

Those are my top 5. Let the write-in campaign begin!

You can’t control what you can’t control

But we try to though, right?

Yes I’m a little late. This whole putting your diary in front of everyone. Things have changed though and now it seems most everyone is comfortable sharing their lives and thoughts. So I’ll throw out my thoughts about me, technology, mobile and social on digital paper. It seems ironic to start contributing long-form content in a period of time when shorter, faster forms of communication dominate. I was on a panel at the Untethered conference last month in NYC and it seemed official that long-form has seen better days.  Not everything can be summed up in 140 characters though, or in a facebook status bar. And lord knows how many times text message or IM has given someone the wrong impression or yielded misinterpretation.  Maybe an audio blog would be a better idea.