Foursquare Lists

I had an epiphany today. I was in Storm, a cool store in Copenhagen, and I checked into Foursquare. In the result screen of that checkin, I saw a tip that there was another design store right around the corner called Hay. And that my friend Naveen had recommended Hay on his Copenhagen list.

I immediately saved Naveen's list to my phone and then saved a few other Copenhagen lists that were recommended to me.

Now every time I checkin somewhere in Copenhagen, I get a tip for another place that is nearby on one of the lists that I saved. No more thinking about where to go next. Foursquare will tell me based on suggestions from my friends and the lists I've saved.

I've tried every kind of travel guide out there. Some are great, like the Luxe guides and the Wallpaper guides. But an interactive, real time, geolocated travel guide built by my friends and likeminded travelers is way better.

So I'm going to create lists on Foursquare from now on so that others can benefit the same way that I am right now. Here's my list so far from a day or so in Copenhagen.

#Blogging On The Road#mobile#Travel

Comments (Archived):

  1. VincentWright

    Fred,This certainly does help makeup for one or two perceived weaknesses which were concerning me about Foursquare… (there’s not much need to discuss those perceived weaknesses but, this particular post makes me feel better about Foursquare, personally…)

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Why not discuss the perceived weakness?

      1. VincentWright

        Primarily because it seems like such an eons old argument – that being the utter randomness of freedoms|restrictions on social media platforms. They remind me of the different European forms of currency before the Euro…For instance, Facebook limits personal profiles to 5,000 “friends” but has no limits on its pages. Linkedin limits to 30,000. Twitter limits to 2.000 at first but, gives unlimited followers in balance. Foursquare notified me for the first time last week along the lines “WHOA! That’s a lot of followers”. I have only about 500 followers on Foursquare. So, I’m not happy about the prospects of seeing that particular message from Foursquare HUNDREDS more times (potentially 400+ times more) So, sometimes these sites seem exciting and new and then there are times when they seem not much better than something from a thousand years ago…

        1. Matt A. Myers

          It’s one of those annoying spam-preventing controls. These are mostly all in place because they want to control for / prevent businesses from annoying users / getting free outreach exposure by just following everyone — spamming the ecosystem.I think this mimics reality in some ways though. It depends on how an action affects the person you’re interacting or gesturing towards though. If someone isn’t notified of a Follow, then the spam / marketing element disappears.I use lists, I imagine as many people do, to organize information – so it’s frustrating when a limit is then reached. Allowing this organization-use case to flow seamlessly would be optimal for the user experience.

          1. VincentWright

  2. gregorylent

    say goodbye to the adventure of discovery … walking lost, happening upon the coolest thing in the world … that experience is disappearing forever in the digital approximation of personalized recommendations … turn it off, and go get lost.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      This is discovery amplified IMHO. You could however argue it influences serendipity. Though if you’re highly interested in in exploring locations suggested to you that are in a friend’s list, then why wouldn’t you be excited or be curious about them? If it’s 20 kms away, you likely won’t go if just on a walking tour – though around a few blocks away? Why not!This type of thing lets exploring a city become more efficient. You now have filled your day with more. You potentially have more free time too to actually just wander because you’ve had your fill of excitement, have been rewarded satisfactorily – you got off in your exploration of the city for the day!More reason to be healthy too, as it’s easier to explore and engage with the world… πŸ˜‰

      1. bsoist

        I agree this is discovery amplified. I understand the concern that the digital landscape might distract one from the pleasure of wandering, but I think that’s a matter of intentionality. Using tech like this to enrich the experience without letting it dictate every action or cause you to “document” everything without really experiencing it. Balance.

        1. Cam MacRae

          Yes. You can simply use the technology to set a direction, and then get lost.

  3. Harry DeMott

    Really like Norse Projects – just picked up one of their t-shirts in a store in Portland Oregon. enjoy!

    1. fredwilson

      my son had a heyday in there

  4. Wells Baum

    Interesting that you’re choosing to be a curator/consumer on the trip. Certainly you’ll join the 10M+ Foursquare that are active and leave a trail of your own in Copenhagen;)

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I just got a humourous and/or disturbing visual of Fred wandering from place to place, leaving a rainbow behind as his path… Where is that rainbow coming from? Up to your imagination…Some images I would attach (if only I could):

      1. Wells Baum

        Ha. That would be a cool visualization, i.e. plotting his check-ins on a rainbow.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          With the Nyan Cat at the front of the rainbow, with Fred’s face transposed!

  5. Sebastian

    This only works if there is free wi-fi everywhere or you do data roaming which can be very expensive when you are abroad. I prefer guides that work offline, like tripwolf, a social travel guide with full offline functionality including maps. (Disclosure: I started tripwolf)

    1. fredwilson

      a 1gig data only sim card in copenhagen cost me 48 krone, which is like $6 US. i buy local data only sim cards in every country and consume data without worry. you need an unlocked phone to do this but you can buy unlocked androids easily and you can buy unlocked iphones from

      1. Sebastian

        Sure, it’s just that the average traveler is not as technologically literate as you are. I think there is still a lot of room to make mobile travel more consumer-friendly, and offline availability is a big part of it, especially in Europe where you cross a new border every 3 hours. By the way, check out the Summerbird Chocolaterie in Copenhagen!

        1. daryn

          I really hope we see this model change over the next few years. Every trip I’ve taken over the past few years I’ve done like Fred and bought a prepaid sim. It’s great, and really affordable, but you do need to worry about things like unlocked phones, micro-sim cards, and things that make it all just a little bit harder than it can/should be.

        2. fredwilson

          will do. adding it to my to do list on foursquare.

      2. William Mougayar

        Yup. I finally figured out the SIM ting after a T-Mobile store and bought a 500mb card for 5 Β£ and added voice for another 5. Warning: the vending machine options are misleading and a scam

      3. ShanaC

        *cries* data is so expensive stateside.

        1. William Wagner

          2 years ago I was paying $500 for 5 mbps 2-way stream of data over wimax from the citibank building in qns. They offered to drop it down to $300 when we told them we were getting the new 100 meg cable when it came out. The new cable is $100 for 100 meg / 20 upI just wish the phone companies would act like utilities and not like they’re offering a subscription to caviar

      4. Guest

        At that price you should buy a bag full and hand them out to people at the local cyber cafe.

  6. Jan Schultink

    Here is a Foursquare revenue model: premium lists to subscribe to

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Not sure you necessarily want to do this, though might not be a bad idea if done well, with the right intent.The highest quality lists will be what users create.

      1. Guest

        First you’ll need to define quality as it pertains to a 4SQ list.

    2. William Wagner

      I think premium lists are the least of their worries, they have the groundwork laid to pound facebook in mobile ads, and people will ask for the pounding

  7. Kirsten Lambertsen

    You just gave me a reason to start using Foursquare πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      excellent. friend a few people so foursquare starts to know who you like and an guess what you like

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Wow. And just like that, I’m hooked! Can wait to put it to work next time I’m in the city. You were my first 4Sq friend, thanks πŸ™‚

  8. bijan

    #allnewfoursquare lists are magical

  9. Terry

    Fred – do you have a financial interest in FourSquare?

    1. fredwilson

      yes. i have blogged about foursquare about thirty times here at AVC and my interest in it is well known…

      1. Guest

        The entrepreneur mantra: ABS – Always Be Selling

  10. Matt A. Myers

    Foursquare has been gaining value as time evolves. The data / information, such as lists, has been growing over time, making the product overall more useful.Clearly the use case like lists need to be promoted to help people understand the value, however, lists on their own to me is a feature, and Foursquare for me – yet / still – isn’t a product I think I would find enough value using on its own; Albeit there’s not been anything yet that’s had me wanting to try it. Perhaps when I travel next and if I have free time I would think about using it, however it doesn’t provide the kind of discovery that I really would want.There is room to improve, and as they do improve – and they of course will – the incentive for me as an end-consumer to wanting to install Foursquare increases more and more. I have a close friend who’s crazy about checking into places, being connected with people — she’s crazy about everything social media (Pro-Tip: Hire people like this when you find them — like I have!); I say crazy with lots of love. :)As things evolve and interconnect, in the way the de-centralized web will, the concept behind what checking-in and having access to crowdsourced filtered and organized data will become highly valuable.On a sidenote, I really wish Gowalla didn’t shutter. Not that I don’t wish the best for Dennis et al and Foursquare, though competition always will allow for slight nuanced variations to be explored – even just for testing purposes; It’s hard to do split testing on a single platform though. I don’t see Facebook working well as a competitor in this arena, acting as a strict dictator with their controlled ecosystem.Perhaps next time I travel I will try it out. It may or may not be useful enough for me yet. I do believe it can and will become useful enough where everyone will want to use it. It’s a chicken and egg problem of course. One must exist before the other will come, it must exist in order for things to evolve to where they become useful enough; Same with Twitter and other contextual ecosystems who serve a specific function.Foursquare found its MVP as a game, which many people still use. It’s a neat use-case / product launch that I enjoy watching evolve.

  11. Bryan J Wilson

    In the spirit of recommending fun places in Kobenhavn – Cafe Salonen, Sankt Peders Straede 20!

    1. Chris Mottes

      Second that! Right next to my first startup address, used to be our local πŸ˜‰

    2. fredwilson

      i will add it to my list of places to go and then to my copenhagen list if we like it. thanks for the recommendation

  12. Terry

    Fred, Do you have a financial interest in FourSquare?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      USV is an investor in Foursquare, Fred’s a partner as USV.

  13. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I felt GG’s foursquare list (photos) are much better … I could really feel the things … the stone walkways, the oily egg sandwich… and the ham…when i zoomed in that image it took me almost a decade back to my days in Glasgow.

  14. daryn

    We’ve talked about leaving breadcrumbs before – I love that foursquare is making it easier to discover what your friends have lost behind.I disagree with whomever said that this kills serendipity – it does do that any more than if you buy a tour book and only visit places that are listed in it. At least here you are sharing the experiences of your friends and getting their recommendations, rather than those of some travel writer with unknown motivations.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Indeed. Another positive aspect is what you’re being suggested isn’t overtly modified through bias of making a profit.Edit: Modified is to isn’t..

      1. Guest

        It doesn’t matter if something is modified to make a profit. What’s important is whether or not it brings quality and value to the customer. Obviously you can have both, value decreased for a profit or value increased for a profit. I like the value increased for a profit..Example: Making cars smaller and lighter (cheaper to build) for profit. But, I get better gas mileage and faster 0-60 times.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Of course. There is potential to extract / create profit out of it. It can be done well, and can be done badly.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I’m with you.Open-ended serendipity has its time and place. Much of the time, I have time constraints and am making decisions for a group and don’t have the luxury of completely going into the wild so “contained serendipity” is in order. Some parameters help make the most of the experience. What better parameters than experiences of people you know and have some sort of history with.Blazing a trail is fun, but so is following someone else’s — it’s still an adventure.

  15. Shyam Subramanyan

    Lists are great. Foursquare should have focused on them instead of badges early on. Speaking for myself, badges are meh…lists are useful.

  16. David Haber

    If you have time, you should try and check out the Louisiana Museum outside of Copenhagen. Beautiful modern art museum.

    1. fredwilson

      we are going friday. can’t wait.

  17. Richard

    I’m in south beach, 4 square algorithm needs a lot of work. Hint: conditional probability.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Might be an issue of not enough data?How do you see that working?

      1. Guest


        1. Matt A. Myers

          Hilarious. πŸ™‚

  18. Chris Mottes

    Don’t miss in Christiania – great laid back restaurant, good homey food…

    1. fredwilson

      thanks. will add it to my to do list and if we like it, to my copenhagen list

  19. Mike Geer (MG)

    Agree the flow is cool, Fred, but you don’t need Lists. Checkins and algorithms could and will accomplish the same thing. Lists are poor user flow and actually should not be promoted as a feature. Very web 2.0, time for 3.0.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Lists are curated by the user, and add context and relevancy – something that computers have a really hard time doing, suck at; Too many nuances – it would take a million monkeys a million years to create, or you can crowdsource the relevancy and context via list curation.

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        Bingo. Otherwise, you have to add the missing ingredient on the computer/algorithm side.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          What do I win??

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            An opportunity πŸ˜‰

          2. Matt A. Myers


          3. Guest

            You don’t love cigars?

          4. Matt A. Myers

            Good Sir, I do not smoke nor hold smoke in my mouth. πŸ™‚

          5. Guest


          6. Guest

            A cigar?

      2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        Page Ranking – Google.Place Ranking – Four Square.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Could be good.

      3. Mike Geer (MG)

        Where I check in often is a strong endorsement of the place, mix that with friend connections type of place and comments left plus several other variables and I think you’ll be quite surprised how smart algorithms can be.Fun fact to find out: what percentage of 4sq users make lists? If you guess more than 1%, you might want to have those monkeys recalculate it for you πŸ˜‰

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I think you can discover a lot between the individual person, and similarities between people – though you could still miss some important nuances that if you just leave open to algorithms could create a lot of noise.I would have to play with visualizing the data before I’d be convinced; Maybe I’ll have that opportunity some day.Based on Fred’s observations 1/10/100, the ~1% being creators of lists makes sense. πŸ™‚ And you don’t want people who don’t really care about a list making lists anyway.

          1. Mike Geer (MG)

            I understand your thought process, Matthew, and I agree that it seems to make sense in a tangible way. I would still assert that the actual explicit act of creating the List is not needed and is too un-user friendly to achieve any usable scale and thus should not be promoted any further than it is. Checkins should be rewarded further with better feedback loops to enrich the dataset in a much more efficient manner.

          2. Guest

            That’s much better than what I said. I thought you vacated the premises and I was hoping to keep the topic of lists moving..Although I like the idea of presenting lists to the user when requested. I also don’t like the idea of creating and storing bunches of data lists. It’s all too RDBMS for me..In my mind every item on a “list” is more than just a list entry and should be treated as such. The system should embrace the items as entities that can grow into active participants.

        2. fredwilson

          1% create content, 10% curate it, the other 90% enjoy it

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Hopefully 100% enjoy it!

        3. JamesHRH

          Automation would help here – if 4Sq prompted you to add a frequented place to a list…..

      4. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Ya, sometimes humans should be the algorithm πŸ™‚

      5. Guest

        Mike might be saying lists are a bad way of “capturing” that context and relevancy. At least that’s my first thoughts given my often non-conformist type thinking.

    2. fredwilson

      i think the combination of implicit and explicit is where you get the most value

      1. ShanaC

        also, having lists is a great way to add reminders, since list recommendations appear in explore!

      2. Mike Geer (MG)

        Agreed in that general thought. However, I guess it depends on if you see a checkin as implicit. I see it as a user flow friendly explicit activity, while lists are not user flow friendly. The system would obviously work and look nice with both, but it would be a mistake to promote the list functuonality any further than where it currently is. Checkins are the more valuable data source and thus, obviously in this one man’s opinion, should be rewarded in more and more ways. The addition of the Loves is one small but good step towards giving a positive feedback to promote this activity.Would you want Google returning Naveen’s top design websites list next time you do a design search or are you OK with their algorithm take? As datasets reach sufficient scale and algorithms are correctly tuned, we are usually quite satisfied with what they return to us.

      3. William Mougayar

        Exactly. The best out of combining signals from both is yet to come.

    3. Luke Chamberlin

      “I went to this place my friend recommended and it was awesome” is usually a better experience than “I went to this place an algorithm recommended and it was awesome” because you have a story to tell your friend later. The algorithm doesn’t give you a chance for meaningful follow-up. The story ends.

  20. William Mougayar

    Yes, I noticed that Foursquare is becoming more predictive based on implicit and social graph data. That’s a trend with other apps too & we’re taking a similar approach w Engagio. This gives a new dimension to discovery.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I was counting on this with 4sq. I realize that there is a building factor and I have to invest by creating a trail for it to follow. And, now, I am counting on this with Engagio. Life is short and there is so much to discover.

      1. William Mougayar

        If an app can give you more than you give it, I think that’s a simple way to think of an ROT- return on time.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          To be added to the laws of UX. A list is forming in my head.

  21. gleslie

    Check out a concert at Tivoli Gardens! One of my best memories from studying in CPH for a semester.

    1. fredwilson

      we are staying for a few days right on the tivoli gardens, then moving to another hotel in a different part of the city. there was a concert right outside our hotel room window yesterday evening

      1. Guest

        That’s really cool to do. Stay at different hotels every couple days taking in the nuances of different parts of a city.

  22. Dave W Baldwin

    Interesting. I’m getting involved with an app on the sales side that would take care of that issue, serving the merchant and users. Will have to give a report on that as we open markets. IMHO, you can take care of both outsiders/locals simultaneously.Enjoy Fred

  23. baba12

    I don’t use GPS or discovery on Foursquare etc when I am travelling as I want to find things on my own and it adds to the mystery. If I rely only on the recommendations of friends and the like minded folks I maybe connected to then I am shutting myself out of discovery that I could have on my own or be influenced by the many people I may not share anything in common with.That is the reason why we have such a distinct divide now between the Red and Blue state crap. People have started to just live and be influenced by those they share a common set of values. Where do the two or more sets of folks then interact if we remain in our own cocoons.I would hope that Mr.Wilson has lists from a wide variety of sources to allow himself to be surprised and nourished by what he may find.If at all I may use the lists from friends as a secondary tool but my primary tool will always be to source from random folks and discover for my own self.Enjoy your vacation Mr.Wilson..

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Agreed. It really depends on what you’re going for. If you want to connect with locals to find out what they really like, or what they recommend – then ask them. You don’t know what serendipity can and will occur when you mention you’re visiting – maybe they’ll invite you to some big family dinner event, or other opportunities you just can’t get exposed to via a list, or people you follow. Some things can only occur to a stranger when wandering, exploring – you can find crevices that you only get exposed to when being right then and there, dead in the middle of context and nature of exploration, discovery.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      To add re: Red and Blue -What I hope will happen, and will happen – I will make it happen if no one else does, is to force a connection between people with disimilar views – so discussion can and will exist; This is inherently why Downvotes are bad, even if you can be exposed to who someone disagrees with – it is the wrong approach to gathering that information.Bubbles that Google and Facebook create through filtering results so you get the ‘best experience’ is detrimental to learning, detrimental to tolerance, detrimental to life.

    3. ShanaC

      You’re right. The problem with today is that we have way too many similar choices.I’m struck by how one of Fred’s comments names a store as the Copenhagen “collete” (fashion insider warning – it is a super hip store in paris). Fashion is definitely one of those things where there are insiders, outsiders, and those who want to change things sitting in between. Depending on who makes your list, there is no way to really think about how to change something like fashion without thinking about what is essentially a status cue. as a result, we’re all involved converging into a taste level of people with similar status in taste land.I don’t think this is brilliant, either. Makes life harder to change.

    4. Guest

      I agree, except, Fred is on vacation with his family. Safety takes planning..But, your idea of letting “the experience guide you” is a wonderful way of vacationing. You just let go and get caught up in the moments and the environment.

      1. EffectiveWebSolutions.freak

        Safety? They are travelling to Nigeria? Come on.

        1. Michael Bluth

          Been re-re-watching Arrested Development recently. Your phrase reminds me of Job from that show πŸ™‚ “Come on!”

  24. Shawn Cohen

    This is an interesting product evolution: Foursquare moves from self-centered game to altruistic community.If they had started w/ this recommendations USP, there would have been little differentiation from Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.Since I recently had a bad experience w/ a Zagat-rated restaurant, I’m now much more biased toward reviews of people I know. Hopefully Foursquare can capitalize on users like me.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Yup – you need to find traction first, no matter where – you need your first core group of evangelists to use as a test group / proof point. Product can and will always evolve.

      1. Guest

        This is what I talk about when I use the phrase “my baby issue.” Entrepreneurs have to be careful that they don’t make the startup “their baby” and become inflexible. They have to move where the money (visitors/members) is.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Yeah, hopefully while maintaining the prior functionality to not kill off previous users; I think this is something some startups do, mostly out of laziness.

      2. Shawn Cohen

        this is the beauty of the lean startup approach

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Interested to know the process of why the Zagat-rated restaurant experience was bad?

      1. Shawn Cohen

        Me too. It got 23 out of 30 and was probably the worst meal I’ve ever eaten at a sit-down restaurant.

        1. ShanaC

          off night?

          1. Shawn Cohen

            I doubt it–I think I’ve been to enough restaurants to tell the difference at this point but there’s always room for error:)

          2. SamT

            You’re onto something, Shawn. Zagat ratings are derived from a pool of raters from a restaurant’s community, which makes it 1. suspect to local tastes, and 2. biased toward well-established local brands. As much as I love my fair city (Minneapolis), I do not share the local opinion on many restaurants. But I have a foodie friend (from Conn. actually), and his recommendations beat Zagat every time. Key is identifying that maven.

          3. Shawn Cohen

            So the margin slides in my favor:) Thanks, Sam.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          Good answer.23 out of 30 isn’t that great of a rating though, considering if things are being rated. 76% – If you’re wanting a guaranteed experience probably need to aim for higher. Many variables I imagine Zagat doesn’t take into account.

          1. Shawn Cohen

            but Zagat thought the rating was good enough to offer them a window badge. I guess that’s further evidence the rating isn’t trustworthy:)

  25. Robert Frost

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iβ€”I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.

    1. Mike Geer (MG)

      I do so love your work, Mr. Frost.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      From another of your poems,(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)

    3. Donna Brewington White

      I hope you checked in. And unlocked a badge. Sir.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        A special badge for being the first person ever to do a digital check-in?

      2. Cam MacRae

        Haha! He’d have been pretty disappointed when he got the “You’re 8 days away from becoming mayor” notice!

  26. ShanaC

    You make me want to make a list of awesome coffee in NY. With help. The help part is the hardest part – I can’t invite people to help edit my lists on Foursquare, which is what I really want.

    1. fredwilson

      you can invite people to edit/add to your lists. i did that with this list…here’s my best coffee places in NYC list…

      1. Guest

        Gee Fred, if you were a top level sports figure or actor you could be making millions with your lists by having promotional contracts with the product companies.

        1. fredwilson

          it could happen but not by me

          1. Guest

            I think you’re selling yourself short. You could do it. Think positive!

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            I don’t think you understand the 1/10/100 ratio … fred is on the 1% list

          3. Guest

            I’m just having fun talking with Fred.But, you did provide me with my first reason to use, thx. The search worked and I found the post with the 1/10/100 definition.

          4. Matt A. Myers

            It would kill authenticity then, and hold less to no value; Being genuine and authentic is of the most importance now that there’s growing accountability and transparency in the world.

          5. JamesHRH

            A few celebrities only endorse products they use and approve, which is why every sponsorship works / doesn’t!

          6. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            ‘A few’ … I think ( in an ideal world :-0 ) there should be a law to make it compulsory.

      2. ShanaC

        awesome! Though I realized I’ve been to everyone one of those coffee shops and din’t check in.Now I just need to figure out how to make a joint list with someone. I think that is where the best sorts of information lays.(ps, try kaffe 1668… when you are next in NY. They do a mean cortado)

        1. rafisyed

          When you’re editing a list, click “let friends add places too” below the finish editing button

  27. RichardF

    I really like the idea of lists and I rarely use Foursquare so I thought I’d give it another try, updated to the latest version, logged in and tried to explore, unable to because I didn’t have location switched on…ugh.It’s not hard to have a search box in the app that allows me to type in a location and see lists or tips.I use Tripadvisor all the time, it’s easy to use and ‘normals’ understand how to use it, which is why it has a huge amount of useful information in it.

    1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I recently started following lists on Foursquare and find them useful. For instance I have a list for best coffee shops in Toronto and local breweries in Ontario

  28. reece

    the power of networks, the curation of your friends… all good things

  29. Charles Hudson

    One of the other great use cases for lists is sharing them with friends before they go on trips. I go to a few places on a regular basis and I used to keep a Google spreadsheet of all the places I liked. I find it’s easier to just create lists and share them with people when they ask me for tips or places to check out – great way to reuse and productize content.

  30. William Mougayar

    There’s a bigger theme here, bigger than recommendations, lists and discovery.Β That theme is Anticipation. Companies like Foursquare that have implicit and explicit signals about their users can anticipate needs and delight them. This is as real-time value as one can get- the power of now.Β 

    1. JamesHRH

      There are several words that apply here, but I agree.There is a transparency magic that could make mobile something amazing.I still struggle to see it breaking through to mainstream users – it is a huge amount of work to document your life. Will people do that work (on a egoless basis) in order to share in the benefits of the aggregate information of their network?Obviously, lots of people think so. I am still on the fence, but leaning…. ;-)See @richardF comment do fence sitting argument!

    2. Matt A. Myers

      You have to be careful about directly servicing anticipation, and thus preventing the user from feeling that they actually initiated it; It might kill the excitement.

      1. William Mougayar

        I think if cleverly done, it would delight.

    3. Timothy Meade

      I might go further, as interesting as engagement and sicovery might be to us, it’s always more interesting to see how the wider world responds to technologies such as Twitter or Foursquare and how the experiences change to match the late adopter crowd. Disqus isn’t much of a network yet in that the users don’t see it as such. Foursquare for a long time was a game of collecting badges for check-ins. Twitter has a contigent that use it either for following celebrities or chatting with a small group of friends who have adopted it as their primary ‘social networking utility.’ Facebook is that but universally so, though some groups likely opt-out of Facebook or use it only for sharing with family.The rebranding of Greplin is interesting, I had passed it over mostly because the name doesn’t describe it and it didn’t get enough press for even somebody very tuned in to tech to even know what it really does. Cue is immediately approachable though, and the coverage finally exposes (somewhat) what it is.

    4. andyidsinga

      I suppose the other side of anticipation is from the user”oh – what interesting tips can I find here” “what interesting things are nearby that people I trust have mentioned”

  31. John Revay

    Still waiting for the GothamGal’s NYC Best Restaurants list (s)

  32. William Wagner

    I have always wanted to check out the local flora in Christiania, I hear they are condo’ing it up these days though.Do you think foursquare keeps track of “successful referrals”? i.e., if you find a referral on there, and then actually go to the place, does it give a thumbs up to the owners? It sounds like it would be a powerful ground level referral and ad market in the making

    1. fredwilson

      it should

  33. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    it would be cool if foursquare can divide up recommendations based on those made by ‘locals’ and ‘non-locals’. In non-digital world, I have always found locals advice to be very worth of my time (only second to those recommendations made by very close friends). Still, the lists on foursquare are fantastic discovery and ‘anticipation’ tool (as William mentions below)

    1. Michael Bluth

      Non-local opinions count too, in a different way. What might be mundane or normal to locals might be novel to outsiders, whether it be restaurants, historical buildings or neighbourhoods or scenic locations. In addition, one problem with “local” recommendations that I haven’t seen mention here is the language barrier. Living in Japan, I’ve noticed that on Foursquare most tips are in Japanese which I’m not that good at (yet). So I can see places on Foursquare but as to what people are saying about it, I’ve no idea!Does anyone know any startups/projects working on bringing the web closer together? There are large parts of the web which are essentially off-limits if you don’t speak the language of those sites (e.g English, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian, Bahasa Indonesia, etc.)

      1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

        I guess it really depends on the type of advice you are seeking. For example, I find that locals are better when it comes to recommending restaurants whereas non-locals are better are recommending worthy touristic places to visit in the city (sometimes locals don’t appreciate what they have in their own backyard:) The language is a problem that I have encountered during some of my travels. There is a terrific program that I heard about just yesterday called that is working on translating the web into different languages – see this TED video… – They have a very cool business model

  34. Eric Leebow

    Thanks for creating this 4sq list for those aspiring to visit Copenhagen someday! There are a few young startups (which I will keep nameless here) attempting to do the same with “travel lists,” to connect to your Foursquare. I’ve always found it does a great job of it already, especially with the explore tab. A venue just pops up on my phone and I will go! It’s brilliant.One of the things that would be really nice if the app would tell us exactly when a place closes (with timer), or better yet, when a restaurant stops serving. So, it recommends a place to go, and by the time you get there, the kitchen might be closed.Sometimes the people you wish would used it are not on it, such as your Mom (could be your wife, etc.) who wants to know you’ve arrived at your destination safely. The Hashtagmom app is really great!

  35. andyidsinga

    interesting to find out you’re into “hip urban streetwear stuff” ;)not sure if these are hip or urban ..but I’ve been drooling over these bags I stumbled up at local saturday market

  36. fredwilson

    try it on a vacation or business trip. it’s amazing.

  37. Guest

    “…seem mindless.”.That is a failing when relying on user generated data. But, many sites are doing it with great success. The problem I see is all users have their own definition of mindless.

  38. rafisyed

    We want to hear your feedback. The idea is that we get to understand how you “use” your home city, or home neighborhood, and help you “use” a new city in that same way.