Neil Turner's Blog

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Foursquare Thursday – Superuser changes

Sweet Street West
This is the twelfth post in a series about Foursquare – read part one, part two, part three, part four, part five. part six, part seven part eight, part nine, part ten and part eleven.

A couple of months ago, I introduced Superusers and what they could do. Since then, Foursquare has changed the permissions to give more power to the superusers at all levels, so this is an update to that post.

At Superuser level 1, previously you could 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. Now, SU1s can also close venues, and view and approve public suggestions for missing address details or misplaced venues – these are generated using the ‘Flag’ option of the Foursquare mobile apps. These new powers used to be reserved for SU2s. Additionally, a forthcoming update to Foursquare will allow normal users to suggest a category for any venue that doesn’t already have one, and SU1s will be able to action these suggestions.

Before the changes, SU2s could add categories to venues, close venues, approve mergers (but not any that they have initiated themselves), and manually change the longitude/latitude co-ordinates for venues. They could also process missing address suggestions and misplaced venues, which SU1s can now as mentioned. Now, SU2s can also delete categories (previously SU3-only) and edit the web site field on a venue (before, generally only venue owners could do this). As with SU1s, they will be able to action category suggestions, but will be able to process suggestions for venues which already have a category (to correct mis-categorised venues for example).

Finally, 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. New features allow them to authorise the deletion of venues flagged by other superusers (previously only Foursquare staff could do this, resulting in a massive backlog), and they can edit the ‘venue radius’, which would allow check-ins from further away – useful for large venues. Update: at present, SU3s cannot delete venues but may be able to in future.

These changes now mean that superusers have a lot more power – especially as they now have the ability to delete venues for the first time (note that a venue has to flagged by one superuser and deleted by another). Hopefully this will mean that Foursquare’s database improves, with more users being able to fix incorrect or invalid venues, and will make it a more useful service to all that use it.

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