Neil Turner's Blog

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Foursquare Thursday – Badges (Part 2)

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

Two weeks ago, I talked about some of Foursquare’s badges, namely the ‘core’ badges provided by Foursquare itself. But an increasing number of Foursquare badges are in co-operation with partner brands, who are using Foursquare to increase recognition of their goods and services by rewarding those who interact with them.
Partner badges are generally a different shape to the core badges – most of the partner badges are shaped like a shield, rather than the round shape of the core badges, though some early partner badges are also round. Most partner badges also require you to follow a particular brand on Foursquare first – this is like adding the brand as a friend but it’s not reciprocal.

As I’m based in the UK, I’m going to focus on the badges that are available here. A number of partner badges are US-specific, and many are tied to certain events and are therefore only available at certain times of the year. Still, if you’re after more badges, read on.

One of the easiest partner badges to get is the Waze Road Warrior badge – to get it, you need to join Waze and install its app on your phone, then use it to check-in to Foursquare three times. You don’t need to carry on using it after that if you don’t wish, although it’s promising to be quite a useful crowdsourced GPS navigation app.

Similarly, the excELLENt fan badge is quite easy to get – follow The Ellen Degeneres Show first. I’ve not seen any concrete list of which venues you need to check-in to, but at least one must be a flower shop. It can be any flower shop anywhere, too.

A whole series of Foursquare badges are available if you’re into running and have the Runkeeper app on your phone – link your Runkeeper and Foursquare accounts and you’ll earn various badges for running various distances.

If you’re a regular Starbucks customer, after checking into 5 different Starbucks you’ll pick up the Barista badge. Also, follow Fast Company and check into one or two of the venues they’ve listed – there’s a few in London and one in Leeds (I’ve checked into the Leeds one but not yet got the badge). In a similar vein, following The History Channel will unlock a badge after your fourth checkin at one of the London landmarks they’ve listed on their page. Londoners may also want to follow Louis Vuitton to get their badge as well.

While it’s some way off, if you follow (RED) and check in anywhere on December 1st with ‘#joinred’ in the shout, you’ll pick up their badge and show your support for their campaign to eradicate AIDS by 2015. And even if you don’t live in Philadelphia, if you follow VisitPA and check in to any venue on February 2nd and shout the word ‘groundhog’, you’ll get a badge.

This isn’t an exhaustive list and there are many more Foursquare badges available, especially if you’re able to go to to the US for conventions like CES or SXSW. Still, if you’re an avid badge collector, hopefully this guide will give you some useful pointers!

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