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ERIC Number: EJ936496
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
Foursquare: A Health Education Specialist Checks-In--A Commentary
Haithcox-Dennis, Melissa
American Journal of Health Education, v42 n4 p194-196 Jul-Aug 2011
More and more, health education specialists are integrating technology into their work. Whereas most are familiar with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, one relatively new form of social media, location based services (LBS), may be less familiar. Developed in 2000, LBS are software applications that are accessible from a mobile device. Major players in LBS include Gowalla, Facebook Places, and Loopt; however, foursquare dominates. Foursquare, like other Web 2.0 technologies, is a social interaction platform and a powerful marketing tool for businesses. In addition to being free, businesses that claim their venues on foursquare have access to real time statistics of their patrons' gender, number of check-ins, time of check-ins and the portion of check-ins shared on Twitter and Facebook. Businesses can also offer specials and badges when patrons check-in, enticing new customers to visit and offering virtual incentives to those who return. Although originally designed for businesses such as libraries, museums, restaurants and shoe stores, health education professionals have taken notice of these features and are also tapping into foursquare's potential. Like any other health education strategy or tool, foursquare should be used wisely and as part of a larger, theoretically sound program. Additionally, it is important to assess the needs and wants of a community to make sure that a strategy using smartphone technology is appropriate.
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A