Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fighting for Local

Fencing duelJust read an interesting article over at streetfightmag.com on a case study about foursquare mayorships, ad-hoc deals based on them, and how The Green House Tavern Restaurant in Cleveland managed to increase their bottom line just by offering the "employee discount" to the foursquare mayor.

This is one of those success stories that really helps the businesses understand why these technologies and approaches can help their business. Really. One thing that really rings interesting is this, when asked if they used any of the merchant tools the answer was, no.

Do you use any of the tools that Foursquare provides, like the merchants’ dashboard?
You know what, I tried to last year and I didn’t get the greatest response from it. I have been trying to change our special for a while because we’re opening another restaurant and I want to incorporate the two for check-ins, but I haven’t been able to successfully. So, I don’t know if I’m just not doing it right, but we don’t use it.
I can understand why, the reason this program worked is because it was simple, low touch and took very little maintenance from the merchant. We should remember that. Here is a very successful use of the game to drive business and foursquare didn't have any traction on the merchant tools. Lesson learned: dont invest in merchant tools.

While I find it really interesting that a fight for mayor broke out just because of a discount, I think people will fight even harder when that gaming ethic is tied to being a contributor to the growth and wellfare of the community. Let's make contributing to the our local economies a game with rewards! People love to compete, the only difference is when it can be quantified and socialized to help our society a whole new possibility emerges.

image attribution by uwdigitalcollections

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