First of all, what is foursquare?
From their website:
Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the foursquare platform by utilizing a wide set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences.
So…what that means, is when you get to a location (whether it’s a museum, school, business, or even your house) you can use your cell phone app to “check-in” to the location. Once you’re checked in, you can see who else is checked in, check out any specials the merchant has set up (we’ve gotten free appetizers and desserts at restaurants from checking in) and read tips that other users have posted.
While Des Moines’ foursquare is constantly growing, I’m always blown away by the amount of tips and specials available in larger cities (such as Chicago and New York for example, since that’s where I am most often.)
For example, Meghan K. wrote to following tip about MOMA:
Get a membership. It pays for itself in just over two visits. Plus cheap guest tickets, no lines and discounts at the MoMA store. Best art deal in town.
Good to know!
And Jocelin S. provided this amazing tip for the Art Institute in Chicago:
The museum is FREE all day every day for the entire month of February!
Wow! I did not know that. Get thee to the museum!
I’ve also left some tips that I hope others find useful, such as at the Science Center of Iowa:
Don’t wait until the last minute to see a temporary exhibit – it gets really crowded!
(Which I also blogged about here.)
Foursquare does allow you to keep your check-ins private, so no one needs to know where you are. Or, if you’d prefer, you can send your check-ins to facebook and/or twitter and share your museum-goings with the world!
Check it out and check on in, won’t you?