Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Foursquare Thursday – Badges (Part 1)

This is the fifth post in a series about Foursquare – read part one, part two, part three and part four.

Last week I went into detail about mayorships, which are one of the things you can collect in Foursquare (indeed, whilst in Edinburgh I picked up 3 new ones). The other thing you can collect is badges. There are many, many badges available, and so I’m covering it in two articles.

This week, I’m focussing on ‘core’ badges – those that are available to everyone and aren’t tied to external brands or services. For the most part, these are available just by checking in a certain number of times to the right types of venue. Some, of course, are easier to get than others.

The first badge you’ll get is Newbie, which you receive for your very first check-in. Pretty much everyone has this. There are also badges for checking into 10, 25 and 50 different venues (but none higher than that as yet). Check into the same venue 3 times in a week, and you get the Local badge; check in 100 times over 100 days, and you can get the Century Club badge which I unlocked today. Finally, if you manage 30 check-ins in a month, there’s the Super User badge, although that doesn’t make you a SuperUser which is something I’ll mention in a later article.

The times you check in grant you extra badges. Check-in to venues four evenings in a row, and you’re on a Bender; check in to four venues on an evening and you’re Crunked. And if you check-in after 3am on a weekday, Foursquare will remind you that it’s a School Night; being the early-to-rise, early-to-bed type means I haven’t got this yet.

There are also special badges for checking into bowling alleys, cinemas, pizza restaurants, gyms, libraries, karaoke bars, yoga classes, airports, boats, Apple Stores, art galleries, ski resorts, parks or your office a certain number of times; some may require as many as 30 check-ins which is fine if you go to the cinema a lot but will otherwise take some time to obtain.

There’s also some ‘miscellaneous’ badges. You can get Photogenic by checking in to 3 venues with a photobooth – bearing in mind that most reasonably-sized stations have one, as well as a number of bigger shops, it’s actually quite easy to get, as long as the venues have ‘photobooth’ in their tags. ‘Overshare‘ is for 10 check-ins in 24 hours that you have shared with your friends on Foursquare – again, not too hard to get if you have a busy day out and about.

Some badges can only be obtained with the help of other Foursquare users. ‘Player Please’ requires you to check in to a venue at the same time as three of your friends of the opposite sex. I haven’t managed this as I’m only friends with 12 females on Foursquare and quite a few of them don’t even live in the UK. Then there’s the swarm badges, for checking in at the same time as 50, 250, 500 or 1000 other Foursquare users; these tend to only be available at large public events because of the numbers of people required.

This list isn’t exhaustive – there are plenty of other badges available. Foursquare don’t list the precise criteria of any of their badges publicly, apart from some hints, but there are web site with full lists of all the badges available – see my post from a couple of weeks ago for details.

Next week – partner badges!

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