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Rahm Announces Foursquare Partnership

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 16, 2011 6:00PM

Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai speaks at this morning's press conference with 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

This morning Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Chicago would be the first city with an official Foursquare badge at a press conference at Heartland Café. The announcement, which dovetails with next week's Social Media Week in Chicago, is intended to get Foursquare users to "check in" at designated cultural and small businesses listed on the social media site, exploring the city in the process.

Foursquare, in conjunction with the City Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, have selected 20 cultural institutions and small businesses including:

  • Oriental Institute Museum
  • Jane Addams Hull-House
  • Chicago Velodrome
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • DuSable Museum
  • Green Mill
  • Dat Donut in Chatham
  • Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles
  • Renegade Handmade
  • Co-Prosperity Sphere
  • Pilsen's Vida Simple Mural
  • Ping Tom Park
  • Merz Apothecary
  • Andersonville's Swedish Dala Horse
  • 63rd Street Beach
  • Milio's Hair Studio
  • Music Box Theatre
  • The Michael Jordan Statue
  • Revolution Brewing
  • The Glenwood Avenue Arts District

Foursquare users who check in at any five locations will earn the Windy City Badge.

Emanuel praised the partnership, saying Foursquare, "like all social media, is changing the way we communicate and connect."

The combination of businesses and cultural attractions "ties in with our objectives to make Chicago an attractive place to raise a family and start a small business," the mayor said. "It's about bringing a level of intimacy and community building you can't get otherwise." Additionally, Emanuel, who admitted he's ignorant as to how Foursquare works, will now have his own Foursquare presence. Mayoral Social Media Director Kevin Hauswirth said Emanuel will personally be checking in to the establishments.

Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai said he chose Chicago because it's one of his company's best markets. "It calls out to one of your biggest passions - where you live," he said.