It’s about time someone stepped into all this discussion about location-based services and set the record straight. Most of the past week has centered around who’s the big application that everyone will want. The central theme has been all about location-based services and we’ve been discussing services like Glancee, Highlight, Banjo, EchoEcho, and Sonar to name a few–way too many for anyone to keep track of. But while the location wars seem to have picked up steam, we hadn’t heard that much of a peep from the current king of the mountain about what they were planning at SXSW this year. Well now we know what the number one location-based startup is doing over the next 5-6 days in Austin and it’s sure to be one heck of a ride (that is if it doesn’t rain).
Announced today on the evangelist blog, AboutFoursquare.com, Foursquare will be hosting a bunch of activity on the streets of Austin, including attending and being on panels, holding office hours, having parties, and much more. You can read more on the Foursquare website about their activities, but here’s a general list of what they’re up to:
Panels at SXSW:
If you’re going to be at SXSW and have a badge, you might want to sit in on some of these panels between Friday and Tuesday of next week in order to gleam some knowledge from the Foursquare team. It all starts off with Evan Cohen in “Raising your Profile with SXSW” and ends with Tim Vetter’s talk on “Mobile Privacy: Developer Kits & Tips“. In-between, people like Dennis Crowley, Holger Luedorf, Alex Rainert, Siobhan Quinn, Morgan Missen, and Eric Friedman, will be on panels addressing social discovery, location tracking, geo-local Internet, and designing for mobile. You don’t want to miss any of these panels!
Like last year, Foursquare will be setting up shop right near the Austin Convention Center where they’ll have a Foursquare court complete with games, food, and entertainment for anyone that stops by. On Sunday & Monday of SXSW, there will be free breakfast tacos, coffee, and pain relievers served–all the way from 10am until they run out. In-between, make sure you check out the court area for great events happening like their SXSW office hours where you can chat with the community, business, and engineering teams (Friday-Monday 1:30-3:30pm) or stop by to find out how you can get more involved with Foursquare on Saturday (11:30-12:30pm). This won’t be a recruiting meeting (or will it?), but it’s more about how you, as the community, will be able to take better advantage of Foursquare. But if you’re a developer, then never fear because Foursquare wants to talk to you as well–a developer open house is scheduled for Sunday, March 11 from noon-1:30pm where you can talk all you want about their API.
Last year’s Foursquare party was unbelievably packed, but fun. Long lines await you, but you’ll be able to mingle with some of the best and the brightest, not to mention famous celebrities–who knows who will show up this year? Last year, party-goers got a chance to mingle with Paul Reuben (Pee-wee Herman), Ashton Kutcher, and Romany Malco so this year could be even bigger and better.
Foursquare will bring the party back to the Cedar Street Courtyard with an awesome DJ set by Bobliz and will most certainly be even busier–make sure you get to the venue early (no joke) as the fun begins from 9pm until late on Sunday, March 11. Tickets are already sold out, but you can always try and stop by and maybe the lucky few will get in?
But in case you can’t get in, there’s always the Foursquare happy hour taking place on Saturday, March 10 from 5:30-7:30pm with free beers and booze at the Foursquare court. Enjoy some games of four square and take a break from it all–well deserved!
The most important thing of all:
With Foursquare, what’s perhaps the most important thing of using the service? Well besides finding out where your friends are? The badges! That’s right! And this year, Foursquare isn’t going to disappoint you. If you’re going to be at SXSW, then make sure you’re actively using the service since they’ve released 12 new badges for your enjoyment. Just take a look at these cool new badges:
From badges you can get while grabbing cups of coffee to going to several places on the Foursquare crawl list to a plethora of other fun things to do, make sure you check-in frequently because the goal here is to capture them all! Oh, and you can view this nice little tip on how you can get them here on AboutFoursquare.com.
So now that we know that the location leader is doing something at SXSW, what were we all talking about earlier with regards to the other apps like Highlight, Glancee and the like?
Photo Credit: Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley plays Four Square at SXSW 2011 via Ken Yeung/Flickr