Freshly Baked @Foursquare Ideas – Explore events

Freshly Baked Foursquare Ideas - On Exploration

Read Part I of the Freshly Baked @ Foursquare Ideas series.

This is Part II of the Freshly Baked @Foursquare Ideas series. In this post, we focus on exploration…particularly around events.

Exploration (or discovery) is core to Foursquare’s model. You only have to view the homepage (…Find your Friends. Unlock Your City) or play with the latest 3.0 update (which features an Explore tab) to realise the value that’s been placed on exploration.

Currently, users explore via direct search or through filters (food, coffee, nightlife, shops and arts & entertainment) and the Foursquare recommendation engine returns a list of locations to the user. But whilst searching for locations is an effective means to explore a city, it’s just one angle, one approach.

Imagine if Foursquare were to partner with an events network such as Plancast or Yahoo Upcoming. This would add a new dimension to a user’s experience of exploring their city. No longer would users just explore by locations (already added in the Foursquare ecosystem), but by upcoming events (e.g. art exhibitions, flea markets, food markets, live music gigs, etc) as well.

Imagine this:

  1. You’re in New York City and you have nothing planned for Sunday.
  2. You load the Foursquare app to explore what’s happening.
  3. You’re presented with a list of events on Sunday along with their opening hours and tips.
  4. You see that the Brooklyn Flea Market is open till 5pm, at Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You also notice that four of your Foursquare friends have already been there.
  5. Finally you read the tip, “Check out the bank vault whilst you’re there…you’ll be in for a treat!”.
  6. You add this to your to-do list, throw on a jacket and head out to check the markets.

Exploring by events…A simple, yet a new and powerful way to explore a city.
No longer will you miss out on an event of interest to you. No longer will you have to read another pocket-size pamphlet or visit another external website to list upcoming events. The beauty with this solution is that the entire exploration experience from planning to physical check-in is all contained seamlessly within one convenient environment for the user: the Foursquare app.

Below is just a sneak preview of the Foursquare Events prototype I’ve been developing. I’ve viewed the ‘Events’ feature as an entirely new Foursquare product offering and have thought through some of the workflows.

What do you think?

Foursquare Explore Feature - Designed by Jordan Sim

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28 Comments

  1. Posted April 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    We’re all giving @dens and co. way too many good ideas for nothing, I tell you.

    Exploring a city is definitely about what’s happening while you’re there in the city, and this is always changing, so why not add in the Time component to Explore.

    Here’s a free tagline for ‘em too – Foursquare Explore – There’s a time and a place for everything

    • Posted May 1, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Great marketing tag line –> ” Foursquare Explore – There’s a time and a place for everything.”

      …and couldn’t agree more with you on giving away good ideas.

      I’d love to see @dens & @naveen (@foursquare) mirror @airbnb ‘s recent entry to the Australian market to build a community and gain brand traction.

      We’re already promoting @foursquare via our blogs, and in our social interactions, and we get the Aussie market.

      Why not appoint a street team down under in Australia to build out the Foursquare brand?

  2. Posted April 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Like! Love the mockup as well.

    I blogged about something similar re pre checkin and foursquare

    http://inspiredworlds.com/2010/07/17/the-value-of-pre-check-in-services/#more-974

    • Posted May 1, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Thanks Matt :)

      Interesting scenarios you post in your post. I particularly agree with your second scenario on holiday planning. I foresee foursquare carving out a unique market offering in this space, one which will both benefit customers and partner business/vendors significantly.

  3. Posted April 29, 2011 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Interesting idea. That is an approach similar to the service of the startup Goby. They are offering a search for events based on your location.

    Video from Robert Scoble about Goby:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_ys5CNd0Wo&hd=1

    Goby Homepage:
    http://www.goby.com/

  4. Posted April 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Great idea from @jymmysim on how @foursquare could incorporate events into Explore recommendations. Cool mock-up, too: http://goo.gl/72oPm.

  5. Posted April 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Awesome idea from @jymmysim – Freshly Baked @Foursquare Ideas – Explore Events http://bit.ly/lbGcjo

  6. Posted April 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Love it – Awesome idea and designs! RT @jymmysim: Events + location. The future of Foursquare?– http://bit.ly/4sqEvents

  7. Posted April 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Love returning to Twitter and finding some excellent Foursquare ideas from @c0uP http://bit.ly/iVPeR5 and @jymmysim http://bit.ly/4sqEvents

  8. Pon Kattera
    Posted April 30, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Love it – Awesome idea and designs!

  9. Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    RT @jymmysim: [Updated UI Designs] Events + Location. The future of @Foursquare ? — http://bit.ly/4sqEvents

  10. Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Reading: "Events + Location. The future of @Foursquare?" http://bit.ly/4sqEvents by @jymmysim // cc @Luca2D @SuonatoreJones

  11. Posted May 1, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    RT@jymmysim Freshly Baked @Foursquare Ideas – Explore events http://bit.ly/lbGcjo

  12. Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    @EchelonExhibits @laurashort Events + Location. The future of @Foursquare ? — http://bit.ly/4sqEvents

  13. Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Gr8 idea from @jymmysim on how @foursquare cd incorporate events into Explore recommendations-Cool mock-up 2 http://t.co/HKkPtQV @noah_weiss

  14. Zubi
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Brilliant. You had me at Williamsburg…. But seriously, this would be the feature to sell me the app.

    • Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Zubi :) Make sure you hit up Brooklyn Flea, whilst your in NYC!

  15. Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    @zestylemon Thanks for the RT of my blog post on foursquare and exploring by events– http://bit.ly/4sqEvents

  16. Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    @aboutfoursquare Hey guys. Thanks for RT'ing my blog on exploring events via foursquare– http://bit.ly/4sqEvents . Really appreciate it!

  17. Erin
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Definitely would help sell foursquare to me as a bit of a skeptic– I tried using it and got a bit bored after abt 6 weeks and this type of feature would likely keep me coming back. Another idea — maybe source super limited time group buying offers into sone events? Eg ‘art expo tickets @ x$ at 3pm this afternoon expiring today’ when its already within a few hours of the event and there ate spaces/tix/things to be sold left?

    • Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      That’s one hectic idea Erin. Such a true HBDI ‘Yellow’ ambassador hehe :P
      But your idea…Groupon meets Foursquare? Love it!

      Definitely see it as a great ‘offloading strategy’ for businesses that need to get rid of stock (or old stock) quickly.

  18. Posted May 4, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Great idea from @jymmysim on how #Foursquare could incorporate Events into Explore recommendations: http://goo.gl/72oPm | RT @noah_weiss

  19. Posted May 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Nice article and great designs!

    Here’s another idea to make the Explore feature even better: why not adding sentiment to the Tips that users share?

    Real life example: I’m in Melbourne for a few days and don’t really know my way around the city. Yesterday night I was looking for a place to go and have dinner and decided to use the Explore feature on 4sq to see if there was anything nearby that was worth checking out.
    Out of the first 3 recommendations, 2 had negative reviews as popular Tips. Jase’s Tip is the most popular Tip at Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant. His Tip outlines a negative experience that was also shared by other people. Yet, Foursquare suggests you to check out the venue. Pretty disappointing and kind of missing the whole point. Why would I want to check out a place that many other users are telling me to stay away from?

    So why not using the same system that other companies have already adopted and make use of emoticons to summarise the sentiment of a user’s Tip (or review)?

    You check-in in a particular venue, write a Tip and select one of three options: happy, indifferent or disappointed.

    Anyway, I tend to agree with @coup: too many good ideas for nothing.

    • Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your kind words, Constantino. Really appreciate it :)

      I also couldn’t agree more with you around adding sentiment to the tips users share – it would make Foursquare recommendations even MORE powerful and relevant. If I’m not mistaken I think @c0uP proposed a similar genius idea to @injust , which revolved around building sentiment into the Explore feature. Currently it displays “20 friends have been here” – but I think @c0uP was stating that Foursquare should somehow let us know that perhaps 5 of the 20 friends didn’t like the venue, whilst 15 of the others did.

      I also tend to agree with @c0uP: too many good ideas for nothing.

      So @dens @naveen @foursquare @tristanwalker @arainert – any chance for an internship at Foursquare this coming Summer ;) ?

  20. Posted May 6, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Loving the discussion & new ideas brewing from my @foursquare events blog– http://bit.ly/4sqEvents cc @dens @naveen @arainert

  21. Posted May 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Love this concept RT @jymmysim: Events + Location. The future of Foursquare? http://t.co/kVbOLuZ #eventprofs #tradeshow

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