Do you want a fun, and slightly addictive, way to tell your friends and family what you are up to during your travel physical therapy assignment? If you have a smart phone, then give foursquare a try. If you don’t have a smart phone (iPhone, Google Android, BlackBerry or Palm) then you can text your location or use a laptop too, but I don’t think you will get the same experience out of it.
foursquare is a combination of a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game where you are rewarded for being interesting and doing interesting things. Their goal is help you keep up with the places your friends go and encourage you to explore new places.
The premise is simple:
Go somewhere cool? Check in.
Go somewhere new? Check in.
Go somewhere often? Check in.
Go somewhere popular? Check in.
Go somewhere late at night? Check in.
When you do those or similar things you earn badges and then you can brag. Go somewhere enough and you can be the “Mayor” and who doesn’t want to be Mayor. In bigger cities where foursquare is catching on a lot of business are starting to offer discounts to foursquare users and even special customer status to “Mayors”.
And if you are kind of a nerd then you will enjoy the detailed stats that measure things like:
- Days checked in
- Number of checkins
- Avg checkins when out
- % of checkins at new places
- New places discovered
- Distribution by day of week
- Distribution by day
- Top friends
- Number of different friends you’ve checked in with
- Most frequented venues
- Number of different venues visited
- Most frequented cities mayorships
You can not only check in and let your friends know where you are or have been, but you can also give them tips about the locations you have been to. You can of course check on their locations too if they are sharing them.
If you come across a location that is not already in the foursquare database, don’t worry you can add it.
You can even follow brands (like the ones below) and find new cool things to do or places to eat.
The Wall Street Journal
Bon Appetit Magazine
Set up is super easy too.
First you build an account by giving some basic information name, email, gender, age, etc, phone number. After your account is set up it asks you if you want to look through your Facebook profile or Twitter account for friends or followers that may already be using foursquare. Then it gives you the chance to invite any friends and followers you have who aren’t to join you, you can also send people an email that asks them to join you. Then when you’re done it gives you the chance to connect with your Facebook page or Twitter account if you have so they are all synced up.
And if you are a private person, there are privacy options you can turn on to limit what see people see of your check-ins. And deleting your account is easy too.
What is cool about foursquare for travel physical therapists is that you can get badges all over the country. It could be a really fun way to look back over a year or two of traveling and see where you’ve gone, who you met etc. Take a look and let us know what you think.