Foursquare badges – worth the effort?

I posted how Foursquare and restaurants/clubs/whatever can work together to drive traffic by offering incentives.  As I recently started getting emails from Foursquare about unlocking and earning new badges, I wondered what use they were and who saw them.  Actually no one sees them unless I visit your profile page on FourSquare.  Here is what mine looks like right now:

As you can see you earn badges for each city independently.  The first being the newbie and first check in.  To promote the usage of Foursquare more, it would be nice to have a widget for badges or at least Mayorship of every location you have to place on your blog if you intend in using this over other location services.

Mayorship becomes more important for public places showing a location you may often be found as well as a promotional item.  While this breaks a lot of SocialStalking rules, Foursquare is a game and should be treated as such.

Another addition would be the ability to at least show my feed of locations as I check in on the side of my blog or page.  Currently that is only found on the profile page for yourself and friends.

I think what I am driving at as I rambled at the beginning is that while Foursquare is fun, the manual check-in (non GPS enabled) process and lack of integration with publishing to other social sites (outside of a tweet you can enable which many people hate seeing), makes using the site on a constant basis a struggle.

What I did appreciate is how badges are assigned and how you can suggest your own.  For example, visit a certain number of venues tagged with gym in a month and get the Gym Rat badge.  As a user you can also suggest badges for specific things and what the badge itself should look like.

Overall I like the idea of Foursquare and I know they are working on expanding as they even add more mobile client capabilities (BlackBerry would be nice, hint).  So I will keep an open eye on their growth.  Plus to make sure no one steals my Mayorships.

  • Gregg Eldred

    Timely post. I just heard about this last week from a “Mayor” of a specific location in Cleveland. Not knowing much about Foursquare (and not doing any research), I appreciate your thoughts and overview. Thanks!

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  • rockymeet

    This is my first comment but I feel like I should have been making loads of comments now because I always like your stuff. Maybe comments are for more hit and miss blogs than your own. When you maintain a consistent level of high quality output I reckon people are less inclined to comment because they have come to expect it from you. Just a theory.
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  • Benny Skogberg

    #4sq is a game of fun, but can be used as “Mayor discount” by place owners. I think this will come in the near future.