I have been checking out Foursquare for a few weeks now and thought I should mention it at this point.
It probably seems an odd pic to use to represent Foursquare, but I was just using it this evening as I was out getting a few groceries.
I went to a grocery store to pick up my favorite salad dressing and found that they are discontinuing to sell it there.
After a gasp and a few sobs, I bought the last four bottles and went on my merry way, checking the Foursquare tips on the store as I went.
The tips included:
“Hope you aren’t in a hurry! Slowest family fare ever!!!!!”
“Make sure to get a Yes card to take advantage of sales” (you have to sign up for a card with your name and personal information and I hate that!)
“This place is horrendously overpriced. The service is terrible and the selection is weak. If you want to spend more for less decisions and checkout at a real slow pace, this is for you.”
All the tips were actually pretty accurate.
They are slower there than some places but the people are nice and I did go to Meijers first to get their price on pop which my favorite costs $1 for a 2 litter at Meijers and $1.59 at the Spartan stores if I remember right.
So accurate but not extremely useful and not enough to jump up and down and say, “Ya gotta try it!”
I was trying it while in New Orleans while shooting Mardi Gras parades and found the feature of becoming “Mayor” of a particular location amusing though it almost got me in trouble.
I was covering the parades from Gallier Hall where the Mayor of New Orleans has his reviewing stand and would check in for the parades there at Gallier Hall.
One evening as I was walking to my car I found Mayor Mitch Landrieu and a couple other gentlemen chatting at the side entrance to Gallier Hall.
I suppose I could have gone to the other side of the street and avoided engaging with the group but the mayor was already watching me as I approached so that would have looked odd.
So I continued to walk up to the gentlemen and extended my hand to the mayor and said, “I’ve bumped into you a few times but we have never been formally introduced.” (a true statement as he often gets out of the stands and walks among the people in the parades and goes to the stands and shakes peoples hands and when he has been in the street we have indeed bumped into each other.
He looked at me sporting a professional camera, official New Orleans Police Department Press Pass, and field pack and asked, “What do you do?”
There was that little devilish temptation to call on my official Foursquare status and give him a smart aleky answer of “I’m mayor of Gallier Hall.”
Instead I gave him my standard smart aleck answer which was, “As little as humanly possible.”
While I can’t say that was a better answer, it was less likely to cause him to have his chief of security (who I had met the previous night and was one of the other gentlemen present) detain me for further questioning.
Truth to tell though, Mayor Landrieu is, in my experience, a very impressive man and has a great sense of humor so I really wasn’t worried, just tired and wanted to keep going at that point (later it occurred to me that I had been clean shaven last year and he probably didn’t recognize me so I shaved that night!)
So apart from the potential for making a fool of one’s self and questionably useful tips, why is it worth writing about?
My second to last day in New Orleans I went wandering on my bike and just checked in places for the fun of it. I found that you could get free photo prints and other goodies at various different places.
Not everywhere has special Foursquare deals but some of them are pretty cool.
Just this evening I was checking in at Checkers a bit after midnight.
The check in came up just as I was paying for my food and after they took my money and gave me my food I looked at it.
When I saw what it said I tapped on the glass and the woman returned.
I showed her the screen of my cell phone and she said, “What flavor of classic shake would you like?”
It said if you check in after midnight you a free classic shake with any purchase.
It also said you get a free shake every third time you check in there and that the Mayor gets a free shake every time they visit.
For $2 they have a fish bite and fries box that is a tasty and filling snack so if you get that after midnight and check in on Foursquare you top off your meal with a delicious shake and all for $2!
Ok, maybe I will keep checking in.
Maybe I will even have to let Mayor Landrieu know that I am one of his peers in the Foursquare world.
Nah… Some things aren’t worth sharing. 😉