Mr Foursquare Goes to Washington

Foursquare users have been asking for months for the company to offer a new badge for the upcoming November elections and today their wish was granted.  Foursquare announced they have teamed up with data visualization firm Jess3 to create a tracking site to provide real time data on voter turnout by gender and region based on Foursquare check-ins from their approx 2.4 million US based users.  This data will be presented on the “I Voted” site and was made possible thru a collaborative effort with other partners including MTV Rock the Vote, Pew, and Google.

A few weeks ago Foursquare added a new venue sub-category type called “Voting Booth” and is listed under the “Home/Work/Other” area.  You can help data tracking by making sure your polling place has Voting Booth as a secondary category.  Earning this new badge is quite simple.  All you need to do is go vote on election day and when you check into your local polling place be sure to  include a shout with that check-in telling folks #IVoted.  So if you voted early or by absentee, then just tell the world you did when you check in somewhere on election day.

This is the first civic initiative from the geo-location company, but not the first socially responsible campaign.  Recently, the company launched several campaigns to promote responsible and healthy living.  This was seen with their CNN Healthy Eater badge designed to raise awareness about Farmers Markets, the Get Yourself Tested MTV campaign about sexually transmitted diseases, and the RunKeeper and HealthMonth partnerships designed to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.  I like the direction Foursquare is taking with all of these campaigns and hope they will continue marching down this path.

Post by: Chad Elkins – Find Chad on Twitter and Foursquare