Two years ago, on April 16th, 2012, history was made. The first global social media holiday, Foursquare Day, was observed in hundreds of cities around the world, coined by none other than our friend and colleague, Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford.
Dr. Nate, a fan of Foursquare since before he was even able to access it in his city, originally came up with the idea while playing around with the numbers in his head. An active observer of “geeky” holidays such as Mole Day (10^23) – which is also his birthday, Pi Day (3/14) and Star Wars Day, May 4th (May the force…said with a lisp…be with you), he came up with the idea of a 4-squared day – on April 16th (4/16 – the fourth month and the 4-squared day of the month).
While Dr. Nate was originally brainstorming about ways he could promote his own practice through social media, within a very short span of time after proposing the idea on a Foursquare forum, the concept took off and he had garnered the support of a couple of other social media enthusiasts to help organize the grassroots effort. With under 36 days to prepare, the small team got to work spreading the word and finally, on March 26th, Foursquare announced via Twitter that the holiday was official. Cities worldwide participated in the event, which continues to grow and prosper into its’ third year.
Foursquare Day has been described as the first globally recognized grass-roots celebration of the power of social media as a positive force within the community. For businesses, 4sqDay is an opportunity to get involved in a community event, gain publicity, attract new customers (usually by contributing some sort of deal) and form relationships with enthusiastic social media users. Each community celebrates Foursquare Day differently; some host a central public party, others a lecture and others just check-in stations across the city. But what unifies the movement is the presence of all of these communities around the world engaging on social media and connecting by participating in the same holiday.
Way to go Dr. Nate for not only having a great idea, but for seeing it through to fruition. Foursquare fans worldwide thank you for it! Enjoy your day.