Monday, June 14, 2010

Another argument for deputy mayors in Foursquare

Earlier this month, I wrote a post about the advantages of Foursquare recognizing more than one person per Foursquare location.

I just discovered another reason for Foursquare to recognize more than one person per location. links to a Starbucks Gossip post with the title Is it fair that the "mayor of Starbucks" on Foursquare is a Starbucks employee?

Ordinarily this wouldn't be an issue, but Starbucks is currently running a promotion in which the mayor gets a buck off of a Frappucino, and the fact that the mayor holds the position at this (undisclosed) location means that non-employee customers are ineligible for this particular discount.

There are a variety of views in the comments (including comments on the worth of location-based services themselves), but what it boils down to is that there is a possibility that some segment of Starbucks' customer base perceives that this is "unfair," and may have negative feelings toward the company as a result. (On the other hand, it should be noted that employees can also be customers of their own establishments when they're not on the clock, and that some customers visit more often than employees.)

There are two potential ways to fix this issue:

  • Starbucks could adopt the policy, often used by radio stations, saying that employees are not eligible for these types of company promotions.

  • Foursquare could implement a leaderboard as I previously suggested.

  • Starbucks could give the reward to anyone on the leaderboard - or in the first x positions on the leaderboard - who is eligible to receive the award.

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