How to Import Foursquare Check-ins Into Google Places

If you’re reading this, I must assume you’re some type of techy. Who else would bother with Google Places? Facebook and Foursquare have that location check-in thing on lock. At any rate, Google just announced the ability to import any RSS feed that includes location data and I’m going to show you how to do so with Foursquare.

Google Places just announced a new feature that lets you import the places you’ve checked-in to on Foursquare into Google to rate and review. It’s as simple as finding the feed from your Foursquare profile, copying its link and pasting it into the search box in Places. It’s really easy! via ReadWriteWeb

Well, it’s not that hard, but if you haven’t a clue about RSS and all that jazz, I don’t think “really easy” covers it. Especially not with an exclamation point (Marshall, you’re still my dude).

The first thing you want to do is grab your Foursquare RSS feed. For your privacy, these feeds are available using private token URLs. This means you have to be logged into Foursquare to even see them.

  1. Login to Foursquare.
  2. Go to
  3. Copy the link to the RSS feed for your check-in history (right-click on PC, control-click on Mac).
  4. Fire up Google Places.
  5. Paste the URL you just grabbed from Foursquare into the search box and hit Search button.

Now, this will pull in some of your recent check-ins and give you the option to rate them. Here is where things get a little funky. You’re only going to get the last 10 or 20 check-ins, not much if you actually use Foursquare.

To increase the number of results you see, you have to add a parameter to the end of the URL. Try adding “?count=1000” to the end (no spaces) before you hit Search and you should see more results as you hit Load More at the bottom of the page.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Google Places is all about Ratings. If you don’t actually go through and rate the places that show up from Foursquare, you haven’t actually imported them into Google Places.

Again, if all you do is paste the feed from Foursquare and hit Search, you haven’t imported any info into Google Places. You must go through and rate the places you’ve been.

via Google Places Now Imports Your Foursquare Check-Ins.

Getting Started with TweetDeck for Android

TweetDeck for Android is awesome so far. Not only is it extremely nice to look at, but it carries much of the burden of your social media life. It covers Twitter (and multiple Twitter accounts), Facebook, Google Buzz, and Foursquare. It’s one thing to say that an application covers multiple services and completely another when that application does a good job of it. TweetDeck, even in it’s beta state, handles everything surprisingly well.

Many things that you will need to get set up are not immediately clear. One major stumbling block for me was the lack of a Settings menu. It looks like TweetDeck opts to integrate the settings into the user interface.

Adding Accounts

If you already have a TweetDeck account, sign in with that and it pulls in all your other accounts.

If not, go ahead and add your Twitter account. It doesn’t matter if you hate Twitter or don’t even want to use Twitter, you can’t activate TweetDeck for Android without a Twitter account. Not sure why this is.

Once you’re done adding accounts… Uh… Hit Done.

One thing I didn’t like about the setup process is that I had to specify usernames and passwords for Foursquare and Twitter. Facebook and Buzz pop-up login windows to those sites and do seem to do some type of OAuth action.

Basics of Columns

This section is of utmost importance. Your columns are your primary method of interaction and tie into your notifications settings. Initially, you have 3 columns:

  • Home – This is everything from every service you’ve plugged into TweetDeck. The whole shebang.
  • Me – These are the posts from all your services that have something to do with you: Twitter @mentions, comments on Facebook items, etc.
  • Direct Messages – These are private messages to you from Twitter. If private messages from other services are supported, I haven’t seen any.

Each column has the relevant messages from all of your services. Instead of giving each service its own column, they’re blended together. This is a blessing and a curse. If you follow a decent number of people on Twitter, your Home stream will pretty much be useless because Twitter will bury everything else.

Hopefully, an option to create separate columns for each service is coming.

Managing Columns

Until then, you can simply use Twitter lists. I was already using Twitter lists to keep an eye on a few interesting folks, but didn’t know how to manage lists in TweetDeck for Android until @jbrotherlove gave me the heads up and directed me to the tutorial video embedded below.

If you look in Manage Columns, you won’t see an option to add anything. The only actions you can do here are to delete columns.

To add a column, you need to first find/create a column you want to add. This could be based on a search, someone’s Twitter stream, or a list. For instance, to add a column for one of my own lists, I did the following:

  • Opened a tweet with my name in it, then clicked my name. You could also just click the Contacts button (looks like a grid) and search for your Twitter username.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of your profile and you’ll see the lists you’ve created. Pick one.
  • You should see a huge button across the bottom of the screen that says “Add Column.”

Managing Notifications

TweetDeck for Android has the most basic of notifications systems. Each column will notify you when it has new tweets in it. This drove me crazy at first because I don’t need notifications on my Home feed. If you go back to Manage Columns from the main menu, you will see that each column you’ve created has an On/Off button. This button toggles notifications.

Are you using TweetDeck for Android? Sign up for the beta and share your thoughts in the comments.

Why You Should Be Using Foursquare For Your Business

4sq_mayor_nearbyA few days ago on Black Web 2.0, I covered the reasons why you should be using Foursquare for your business and briefly touched on the specific strategies involved. In addition to reading that post (linked below), you should take a look at this awesome slideshare presentation by Chris Breikss (President of 6S Marketing Inc.) I’ve embedded it below.

The key to leveraging Foursquare for your business lies in the way it promotes and advertises your business. A user visiting your venue on a regular basis can earn a Mayor badge for visiting more than other users. This is where the competition comes in and is only one example of the types of badges available. Not only is the user’s location broadcast on Foursquare, but users can link up both Twitter and Facebook. This increases the visibility of your business across the web.

via Why Should Your Business Be Using Foursquare? | Black Web 2.0 .

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