Is Foursquare for Booksellers?

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You may have already heard of the two year-old social networking/social gaming site Foursquare. Basically, Foursquare is a mobile-phone-based (iPhone and Android) online service where friends earn points by tagging actual places they go, kind of like an elaborate, real-life scavenger hunt. The network is meant to help businesses draw customers while also creating a social network that fits into a non-computer-based social life.

There was some Twitter chatter this morning about Foursquare, due to an article that ran on American Express Open Forum. The article got some folks wondering whether the site might be useful to booksellers. Via Twitter, it came to eBookNewser’s attention that Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA, is starting a program with Foursquare, so it seemed like a little investigation was in order.

Here’s what Vroman’s Webmaster Patrick Brown told eBookNewser about the store’s plans: “The idea is to reward our most frequent customers in a way that’s verifiable and that encourages participation. We think it’s a perfect fit and a creative way to get people into the store. We also hope it will encourage Foursquare users who haven’t visited our store before to give us a try. We think once they do, they’ll be back.”