In this new world of geo-location, there are plenty of options to be sure all your friends know where to find you. Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Yelp, and recently Twitter and Facebook have even gotten into the location-based arena. So, here’s how to play the game.


Foursquare just hit it’s four millionth member last week and is currently leading the check-in site race; it is also my check-in app of choice. Now, I’m pretty competitive when it comes to checking in and being mayor and getting badges, so I decided to educate myself on the best ways to excel in Foursquare. But remember, the intention of Foursquare is to connect friends; it is a social network after all, so just have fun with it and play the game.

If you are in it for mayorships, here are some things you should know. Don’t waste your time checking in 100 times a day to the same place. Foursquare only allows one check-in each day to go toward the race for mayor. Also, it is how many times you have checked into that location in the last 60 days.  Now, mayorships are important because some specials are targeted only at the mayor like Starbucks did awhile ago ( Mayorships are also just part of the game, it’s fun to beat out co-workers or other people in your home for those mayorship positions.

On the flip side, there are badges that need collecting. I’m not as into badges as I am mayorships but it’s still fun to get them. It’s like flair that sets you apart from other people. Badges are harder to master than being mayor because not all badges are created equal and what’s worse, they don’t always tell you just how to get them, so it’s kind of luck of the draw. But if you go to there is a list of all the badges, active and inactive, and some tell you how to get each badge.

Now that you’re an expert on how to play, here are some of my personal tips on how to play fairly.

1. Don’t create more than one check-in for a place just to get more points. It confuses people who are trying to check in with their friends later.

2. Don’t check in somewhere if you aren’t there. Even if you are going there, don’t check in there until you are actually where you are saying you are.

3. Don’t make check-ins into something they aren’t. What I mean is, don’t make a check-in for traffic and say it’s on a boat. When people check in there, they get the on a boat badge and you have made everyone else cheaters too.

But really, it’s just a game and there are no official rules so use your own discretion.

What cool badges do you have and what badges would you like to see?

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