Last Friday I had the nerve to take Tom back over to campus on the first day that undergrads were back on campus- all in the name of social media!
Some folks I knew at the U of O put on a Foursquare scavenger hunt called The “UO Grand Tour”, so I couldn’t miss the golden opportunity to see how other people are tapping into the potential of Foursquare. They didn’t even give me any flack when we showed up to crash the event intended for new students, so, as you might guess, this is going to be a glowing review :)
For those of you not familiar with Foursquare, think of it as a way to “check-in” to places you visit and learn new tips about them. I am obsessed with checking in on Foursquare and fighting to be the mayor of my favorite hangouts around town. As an added bonus to becoming the mayor of your favorite restaurant or receiving badges for accomplishing certain milestones, recently retail stores such as Starbucks have started to offer discounts to customers who are the mayor of their stores or even just check-in upon arrival. (I know that may not sound super exciting, but trust me, it is). If you have a smart phone or iPod Touch, download the Foursquare app and check it out today if you haven’t yet already.
So, back to this scavenger hunt.
I saw information about the scavenger hunt online first, so I could take a look at the tips I needed to complete before I even set foot on campus. We started out at the Duck Store so we picked up the paper version of the program which made things even easier to figure out.
Although we didn’t encounter a ton of people during the scavenger hunt, we did easily make it around to all of the locations and checked-in and completed the tips at each venue. Each location had a duck foot to help us stay on track and we ended up at the Duck Store 10 minutes before closing to receive our duck badges (see above), and a 20% off coupon off clothing at the Duck store (which is a pretty awesome deal).
Even though I was drawn to the event because of its virtual aspect, I liked having the physical clues as back-up because the interface wasn’t as easy to follow as I’d hoped. I’m sure that the app will get even better as more groups work with them to do scavenger hunts and networking activities similar to these- but I have to tip my hat to the folks at the University of Oregon for jumping in ahead of the curve to put on this event. We noticed hundreds of people on campus at other welcome events, so my guess would be that if they did this scavenger hunt when there weren’t so many competing events they may have gotten an even better turnout. (I’ll admit, we had to resist the urge to get inside the bouncy castle by the student union building).
And while you’re at it, check out this article on the UOregon iPhone app. Way to go Oregon for being tech savvy!