NiteTalk: Foursquare's Dennis Crowley and the Art of the Check-In

As Social Media Week comes to a close, it's likely you may be wondering how to step up your social networking footprint. And if you're anything like Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley, you're already a few steps ahead of the game. But Crowley isn't just the technical brains behind a mobile application, he's also a man on the town --  taking to the streets of New York City, one check-in at a time.

How do you think social mobile networking has changed the way people perceive nightlife? Do you think "checking in" has made going out a competitive sport? I dunno about sport, but we definitely hear about people changing their habits to earn points and badges and steal mayorships.   

Where do you currently find yourself the Mayor of? I've been working so much most of my good mayorships are gone. I've still got the bar at Mount Snow, Vermont, the karaoke place in my hometown (Medway, Mass.), my fave sushi place in the East Village (Ginger) and the Korean BBQ place below our office -- Gyu-Kaku. Just picked up this mayorship last night!

Any place you don't "check in"? Maybe a favorite bar/restaurant you don't want all of us to know about? Yeah, but not to keep the place a secret. If I'm out to dinner with my girlfriend I'll keep the check-ins quiet.  A lot of times check-ins serve as an invitation to meet up and there's nothing more awkward than a random friend crashing date night due to a poorly timed check-in.

SXSW is coming up, which marks your one year anniversary. How far has Foursquare come in such a short period of time and what can we expect in the future?  Last year we weren't sure if people would think foursquare was an interesting experiment or whether we'd be laughed out of SXSW. Now we're available worldwide and closing in on half a million users. It's super exciting to be building something that so many people are excited about.

Give me the top reasons I should join today.
To a lot of people foursquare feels a little bit like twitter. You don't fully understand it until you dive into it, and then you're hooked. Anyway:

1. Getting your friends on foursquare will finally end those "where u at?" texts. You check-in, your friends know where you are, you know where they are, you meet up. It's 1000x easier.
2. The first time you check-in at a new restaurant and a tip pops up telling you to specifically order something that's not on the menu, you'll be hooked. And then you'll start leaving tips behind for other people to discover.
3. Badges. What other app is going to reward you for staying out late on a random Wednesdays, finding three taco trucks or going to too many karaoke places?

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