Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Foursquare Thursday – Superusers

Lots of Lego People
This is the eighth post in a series about Foursquare – read part one, part two, part three, part four, part five. part six and part seven.
“If you’ve found a duplicate venue, if no one else can edit it, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Foursquare Superusers.”
A few weeks ago, the lovely people at Foursquare were kind enough to grant me ‘superuser’ status. There wasn’t an application process, but by using Foursquare regularly, and regularly (read: pretty much every day) suggesting edits and merges at the GetSatisfaction Forum, I was spotted by other superusers and promoted. (This does not mean if you do this you will get promoted, so please don’t take it that way.)
So what are superusers? In short, they are users of the service who have been granted extra privileges on Foursquare, so that they can edit any venue, merge duplicates and add or change categories. They are, in essence, ‘data stewards’ – helping to ensure that Foursquare’s database of venues is accurate and usable. They’re unpaid volunteers, rather than employees of Foursquare itself.
There are three levels of superuser, and all users start at the first level:

  • SU1 is the first level. As an SU1, you can change the name, address, phone number and Twitter account of any venue (bar those that have been locked, see below), flag any venue for deletion, and request to merge the venue into another one. You can also use Google Maps to update a venue’s location.
  • SU2 is the next level up. SU2s can add categories to venues, and also mark a venue as ‘closed’ – it retains the checkins and mayorships but can no longer be checked into and doesn’t appear in search results. SU2s can also approve mergers, although not any that they have initiated themselves, and manually change the longitude/latitude co-ordinates for venues. They also have access to reports from the ‘Flag’ button in the Foursquare mobile apps and can act upon them.
  • SU3 is the highest rank given to non-staff users. SU3s can add aliases to venues, and have access to a global overview of pending merges. They can also lock a venue, which means only other SU3s can edit it, and remove categories from a venue.

Even at the SU3 rank, there’s a few things superusers can’t yet do – we can’t delete venues (but can flag them for Foursquare staff to delete them), edit or delete a user’s tips on a venue or block users for abuse – those have to be carried out by Foursquare staff.
If you’re not a superuser, and spot any duplicates or inappropriate venues (or venues with incorrect names or incomplete addresses), let us know – we’re more than happy to fix them for you. We want Foursquare to be awesome too.

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