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foursquareFoursquare is a smartphone app that allows users to check into physical offline places. The app uses the phone’s GPS/location information to verify that the person is at or near the location.

Users receive points and badges based on the amount of check-ins, check-ins with friends and other criteria. From an authentic storytelling perspective, Foursquare gives us another outlet to share knowledge with others in our community and the communities that we are visiting. Foursquare users can leave tips and comments at the places they have visited. For example, at a restaurant, they might say: “Try the …. dish.” And then provide more information why it was good.

The app is also a way to connect with others in the area. When I was an active Foursquare user, I’ve actually had somebody approach me at an event after we both checked in with the app. “Hey, I saw you had checked in here and wanted to meet you in person.” Those kind of encounters can be very meaningful and relevant. This one certainly was.

Some businesses offer deals to the mayor of their business (the person who has checked in the most) and sometimes first-time or other frequent visitors.

Some larger metropolitan areas have a higher user base, but in Iowa’s Creative Corridor the number of users seems to be small as of late 2013.