FourSquare for Your Square

FourSquare for Business webinar, Thurs 10 Nov, Noon CST.

The information superhighway was supposed to knock down the barriers of distance, putting rural communities on a level playing field with our urban brethren. And it has… except where it hasn’t.

For every web app that lets rural entrepreneurs compete globally it seems another online trend leaves us further behind. It’s work to keep up with business and consumer trends anywhere. In small towns and rural areas the trends still apply, but we typically have to work a little harder to apply their lessons and take advantage of their opportunities.

Location-enabled applications is one of those areas. Pop up Google Maps sometime, on your desktop but better yet on your mobile device—iPhone or iPad, Blackberry or Android. Post a simple query for “ATM” and a bunch of red pins descend from Web Heaven… except they’re not all there, just the ones with info somebody location-coded. Then try to search for “Wifi”. In my small town the search results send me out of town. You can almost hear the crickets chirping on Virtual Main Street.

FourSquare is a relatively new (launched in 2009) location-enabled service I’ve seen on my Twitter and Facebook feeds, with about 10 million smart phone users world-wide.  International marketers note that everybody is looking for a deal these days, and they’re looking on FourSquare:

In July 2011, location-based social network Foursquare started showing users deals from Living Social, Gilt Groupe, AT&T and Groupon. The service also introduced a feature where users who had added a venue to their to-do list were notified if a deal became available at the venue.


University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace (MnREM) are offering broadband workshops for business across the state as part of our Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities project. MnREM has an online offering on this service coming up this week:

There are more than 10 million  FourSquare players checking into shops, restaurants, events and other place (some not even place based) through the smartphones and mobile devices every day. They are earning badges, becoming mayors, accessing specials and building brand loyalty with the businesses that are in on the network. Learn more about what FourSquare is and how your business can get in on it in this one-hour seminar. (Lesson One: FourSquare is free!)

MnREM is a Minnesota project focused on the renewable energy industry, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind other entrepreneurs, or even a few out-state recruits on the line.  You can register here for FourSquare for Business webinar, Thurs 10 November, Noon CST.

Update: Ann Treacy, BoB webmaven, touts Google Places (“Google’s version of the local Yellow Pages”) today on her tech consulting blog. “Check in” and check it out.

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