Monday, March 29, 2010

Foursquare or how we got "Crunked" on Sat. Night

[Charles] I keep hearing about this Foursquare thing and thought I should see what the chatter is all about. We have an Iphone and it does all sorts of things. It doesn't do my laundry or feed the dog, but it comes in handy when doing a quick search for a place to eat or to update our business Facebook page. We even have a nice App for taking credit cards now that is really helpful at the outdoor markets.

Anyhow, I decided to check out this game/app Foursquare after all the talk about it from the music blogs I read and the hype it got at SXSW. You can learn a lot at their website, but if you want to really get it, then you should just download the app and get started trying to get "Crunked" or become a "Mayor".

Basically this is an App that allows the GPS on your phone to locate what is close to you and you can read user loaded "tips" or "to-do's" to give you some quick info about the place. You need to rack up points to play the game and compete with your friends. Your friends can be invited from Facebook or Twitter and can play as long as they have a phone with a GPS. To play, you "check in" when you get to a business, especially a hangout like a bar or restaurant (although most businesses are listed). The first time you check in at a business you get a bonus for it being your first time. If you check in to Cafe Hey every morning then you get points each time you do. If you check in to the business more than any other person, then you become the "mayor" of that business. Yes ma'am, there is a mayor of Party Liquors - I checked.

There are lots of awards that are meant to encourage exploration and loyalty to local businesses. Mayor of Target? - okay... Mayor of the Independent Pub? that's an achievement to be proud of. We decided to try to win an award called "Crunked" which means that you have to hit 4 bars in the same night. We upped the ante by saying we could do it in our neighborhood and on foot.

We started out with the hard stuff at the Front Porch which is a close walk and admired the new lights that they had in the bar. From there we hoofed it a good ways down to Ella's Restaurant. We ran into some friends there and had a little bite to eat with our second round of drinks. We even gave a little tour of our custom work there to a few curious patrons. We had a great time chatting with Joe, Shawn, Ernie, and Melissa as always. We tried to spot the mayor while there, but she must have had the night off. The next stop was the Refinery and this was the only cheat because they were closing, we skipped the drink. We did stick our heads in and admire the progress of the decor and their really cool sign "Eat. Drink. Confabulate." Love it.

It was a short walk down to the Independent to close our night. We got to chat with Greg and Michelle from the Refinery as they cooled down from their evening. I showed the bartender, Mike I think, that we had gotten "Crunked" but he wasn't quite as excited as I was. I was at my fourth bar, though, so maybe I was over-enthusiastic... We did it though, and we were nearly an hour late when we dragged in to relieve our babysitter - my eternally patient mom asleep on the couch. We did have a great time and saw some pieces of our sidewalk that we had never studied. We hustled by some roadkill and got a better look at a few buildings we had only driven by. All in all, it was a success. I'm not sure if I'm addicted to Foursquare yet, but I did meet the Mayor of the Independent and she seemed to be enjoying her role just fine.


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