Our frequent readers may be aware of my Fantasy Foursquare fetish – I like to pretend to be placed I’m not because it gives me a small but measurable uptick in happiness. A break, if you will, from the tediousness of my everyday life behind a computer screen.
I used to just scroll through friends and find interesting places to check in:
I’ve had a very full schedule recently. Last Sunday I was in Amsterdam. On Monday I was “on a boat” off the coast of Texas and then zipped over to Dubai to check out the Ritz-Carlton hotel. By Wednesday I was in New York visiting the Foursquare offices. I spent the rest of the week in Waikiki, at NASA, in Monaco and, finally, at Pixar’s studios in California. I really did visit all of these places – I can prove it because I checked in via Foursquare.
That’s a lot of work, though, and Foursquare doesn’t give you any points towards mayorships when you check in that way – it knows quite clearly your actual location and doesn’t give you credit for the fake checkin.
That’s when a mischievous hacker friend of mine stepped in with a small script that he wrote that will check me in to any venue at all via the Foursquare API. That means I don’t have to spend time finding friends already where I want to be, and since we’re using the API we can easily fake out the “you’re not actually there” problem.
Voila – I’ve become the mayor of TechCrunch, Facebook and Twitter just like that. And the best part is I stole the mayorship of Facebook from another cheater – either my hacker is smarter, or the other guy got bored.
My hacker friend has gotten himself into some trouble, though. He’s using the script too, to become mayor of smaller places. Apparently people really take this stuff seriously. Because he’s now been called out by the legitimate mayor he ousted and some other wanna be mayor as well. He just received this email (meaning these guys went to the trouble of searching for it):
Those you have deposed (as Mayor and Mayor-Apparent) wish to meet you. We are here now and most evenings. When do you generally come by? No one here seems to know you, which we find most suspicious.
What will our Hacker Hero do? Run and hide or face his luddite enemies in person and outnumbered with nothing but his iPad to defend himself? Check back here shortly for the rest of the story.
Meanwhile, my AOL HQ mayorship in NY is coming along nicely.
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...