Monday, February 01, 2010

Foursquare for libraries.....

I had heard some months ago about Foursquare from an old colleague of mine. Wikipedia describes the service as:-

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website, software for mobile devices, and game. Users "check-in" at venues using text messaging or a device specific application. They are then awarded points and sometimes "badges."

You earn points for finding new places, tagging them and describing them. And if your the first there you can become mayor and win other titles.

Anyway, I like Helene Blowers feel that :-

It's been awhile since I've seen a new social technology emerge on scene that looked like it had that "explosion potential". The last real time for me was Twitter

David King also has an interesting article on the use of Foursquare for libraries. Below are 5 ingenious idea's he has thought up:-

1.Add your library as a place, or edit the entry if someone else has already added it. You can enter your street address (Google map is included, phone number, and your library’s Twitter name.

2.Add tags relevant to the library. For example, I have added the tags library, books, music, movies, and wifi to my library’s Foursquare entry. If you are in the area (Foursquare is a location-based service, so it knows where you are) and search for wifi – guess who’s at the top of the list? Yep – the library.

3.Add Tips and To Do lists. When you check in to a place, you have the option to add tips of things you can do there, and you can create To-Do lists of things you want to do there. For libraries, both are helpful – it’s a way to broadcast your services to Foursquare players. To Do lists are handy, because you can make the list and other players can add those To Do list items to their lists, too. When they do something on those lists, they gain points. Think of it as a fun way to get people doing stuff at your library! Just think – someone could gain points by getting a library card – how cool is that?

4.Add your big events. Then, you can have an event check-in with prizes for the first person who checks in, etc.

5.Shout outs. These are a type of status update, and can be sent to Twitter and Facebook. So do stuff, then shout out that you’ve done them.

I reckon these are pretty great idea's. I think I might just give them a try for my library.

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