Aside from all the fun marketing options, Foursquare can be very valuable for reporters, bloggers and other news organizations. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Find a source with ties to a specific location
When you go to a venue’s page on Foursquare, you can see who has recently checked in there and who is there the most often (aka The Mayor). Say a popular local eatery recently closed – find a frequent customer to interview for the story.
2. Find a source on the scene – fast
In addition to the venue page, you can use Twitter’s search to see publicly posted Foursquare check-ins in near real-time. Go to search.twitter.com and enter 4.sq AND your keyword to see who’s there right now.
3. See where your contacts are –and where they regularly go
Follow your beat contacts and sources on Foursquare and be opened up to their every move. When a Foursquare contact checks in, you can see where they are or have been under Friends.
4. Alert people as to news at a location
Check in where news is happening and leave a shout message as to what’s happening. You may also want to add a link to a story or your Twitter feed for those wanting more info. If you aren’t at the location, but want people there to see the news item, you can cheat (just this once!) and use m.foursquare.com to leave your shout. Note: People have to be friends with you to see this info.
5. Use your expertise (and drive traffic to your stuff) with tips
Leave a tip based on your knowledge of a venue, neighborhood, landmark or intersection. If you have it, leave a link to a blog post or story you’ve written about it for more info. (Note: Don’t just use any old post, try to make it actually useful).
More: See what the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Bravo are doing on this front.
6. Learn about a location
The tips left behind at venues can be very useful for us as both patrons and profilers. They tell you what to order, what to avoid and what to expect when going there. It may or may not be great for reporting, but it helps when living (trust me).
7. See where the people are
On your Foursquare mobile app, you can see what locations near you have the most check-ins right now. Visiting a site like Social Great can also help you see these trends.
8. Show Where You Go
You can use a Foursquare account to show where you are or where you’ve been in your area, something that could really be of use to neighborhood reporters or bloggers in particular. You can display these on your blog or Facebook page using a variety of available apps.