Colleges Discover Foursquare

Sep 9, 2010 8:00am

ABC News on Campus reporter Matt Phifer blogs: When Syracuse senior David Rosen heard that Harvard was using Foursquare, he thought it should be used on his campus too. So he tweeted Foursquare co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley, a Syracuse graduate, about creating a network for the school. Without missing a beat, Crowley responded, copying a Foursquare employee and instructing him to set up Syracuse. The creation of Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, Foursquare is a location-based social medium that affords its users the opportunity to share their current location with friends on the service. They earn badges for “check-ins” at venues and become the mayor of a “venue” if they check-in more than anyone else.  Businesses such as American Eagle have been using Foursquare to offer discounts to people who check in at their stores.  Just last week, Foursquare released a series of badges that award college students for activities such as attending sporting events and checking in at academic buildings past midnight. Visit the library enough times, for example, and you’re awarded Bookworm Bender. Syracuse is currently setting up its use of Foursquare. Anthony Rotolo, Syracuse’s social media strategist, told that there probably will be badges exclusive to the campus that students can earn by checking in to specific venues and events, such as homecoming.  Says Rosen, “We want you to get out and kind of explore the campus more than just the same things you do every day, and we think Foursquare is definitely helping with that.” SU students will be made aware of specials at the SU Bookstore after football and basketball games. The school is also offering tips for countries where it has study-abroad programs, from places to see to where they should eat. So far, a number of students have been using Foursquare on campus and users such as senior biology major Vincent Skovira are discovering benefits. “I can kind of tell where a lot of people are, like, maybe there is a meeting or lecture that you missed,” Skovira says, “Oh, what’s going on in Hall of Languages?  Oh, that thing is going on.” Others, like Sharon Alter, a senior clinical psychology major, are skeptical. “I think it’s ridiculous, because why would you want people knowing where you are and when you’re not home,” Alter says. “That’s just, like, shady.  People could break into your house, people could easily steal your stuff, know where you are. It’s just not smart.” Rotolo explained that the only way people know where you are is if you actually update your location.  “Just because we can share everything via social networking, doesn’t mean we should share everything,” he added. “So there is a time and a place to announce a check in.”

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