I’m not thinking a fix will come

Good job guys - you broke Forusquare!

Congratulations on screwing up Foursquare and taking all the fun out of the game. All of these “fixes” and “solutions” paired with letting people add anything and everything to the database with the attitude of “hey somebody may want to check in there, so why not” have absolutely killed Foursquare.

Mayorships are broken, and have been for some time now. When you get ousted as a mayor of a place you get an email letting you know about it. If you check in to that venue in that same day you SHOULD regain mayorship.... But it does not happen like that. I have yet to have this happen to me, it often takes 3 or more checkins for me to regain the mayorship... if I ever do. There is one location that I lost a mayorship the same day after I did a checkin, and have checked in *every* day since and still have not regained the mayorship.

Also now there are mayors with 0 checkins. How does that happen when there are others checking in more than 2 times and not ousting the 0 check in mayor?

Why can I not tell how many times I have checkied in in the last 60 days to a venue? I see how many times I have checked in TOTAL, and can see how many checkins I have IF I am the mayor of the place... why not if I am not the mayor? How do I know how far behind the mayor I am?

Privacy issues – you have already been raked over the coals for how terrible you handled that issue while cashing a rather large check... But you trying to fix the privacy issue has REALLY messed up the site. There are two GLARING examples of how ass-backwards you are on this privacy issue.

You removed the ability of users to see where non-friends are the mayor of. What is the point of that? Letting us see that really helped us weed out cheaters and dupe and fake venues. But you took that away – it only helps cheaters and spammers. BUT if you go to the homepage you still see a list of recent local mayorships.... But go to their page and you cannot see the info you JUST saw... WHAT? Ass-backwards.

Also while on non-friends pages you can still go to their Facebook page or Twitter page, where they have lots of personal info on display. So if you really are doing things to protect privacy, wy are those leaks still on the public page? ASS BACKWARDS.

It seems as the main reason for all your screw-up fixes are due to one thing – letting people add their hose to the 4SQ database... than them crying how their house is shown to the public. Who was the stupid fuck that added it? They were! So why are they crying about it being public when they added it to a LOCATION BASED SOCIAL NETWORK? You gave people false hope by letting them check a box saying it was private – but had NO WAY of actually making that venue private. That was your bad – and a very large one. Now the community has to suffer because of your stupidity on letting people check a box that said private with no difference between not checking that.

Tags are now non-searchable. This is just plain stupid also. You claim it took a large chunk of resources? Then fix it while it is still up and just deal with it while you fix it. Searching via tags was a great tool and was actually a somewhat solution to sub-venues (putting the main venue name into the tag section). But that feature is gone now... great job guys.

This forum software is horrible. Many of these topics posted here take more than 15 replies, but there is no way we can see those as they get pushed off the page with no way to see them. This REALLY is a pain in the merges topics. Yes, splitting up the merge topics has helped a LITTLE, but nowhere close to what they need to be. I have totally stopped trying to request merges/fixes because they were never gotten to in time before they were pushed off the page. I actually kept track of this – I went 25 requests in a ROW with no fix done because they were pushed off the page. And no, I am not one of those idiots that post one request, then make a new post with a different request. I know how to put more than one request in one post. You need to do three things here – get a crapload of more superusers, break up the merge topics even more, and get better forum software that will allow you to see more than just the last 15 replies. This has been a known issue for as long as I have been a member here but nothing has been done about it. Use some of that 20 mil check and buy a license for a real forum software will ya?

The lack of customer service is amazing. I see you hired somebody to deal with issues here on the forum but that has not worked out so great since she really does nothing at all almost. The lack of employee assistance is amazing, and emailing a staff member... good luck on getting a response within 2 weeks if you ever get one.

Letting people add anything to the database is annoying and mucking up the search. Do we need individual seats in stadiums? No, we do not. Do we need roads added? No we do not. The point of 4SQ is so that you can meet up with friends and make new friends as you see who is checked in to a venue when you go there. How is this supposed to happen as we are checking in as we drive down the freeway? How is this supposed to happen while we are checking into seat 3 in row 7 in section 232 at the baseball game? How many people can check into the same seat and “meet-up”? I suppose if you are checking into the same seat you are sitting on somebody’s lap and would not need to checkin to see that somebody else is there. Why do we need bathrooms listed? Are you trying to be the new hookup for gay love in bathrooms? We are not all senator Larry Craig looking for love in the bathroom you know. And again, lack of customer service here is killing it – you have refused to put your foot down on this crap and have only let the problem grow and grow. It is impossible in some locations to find what you are looking for because of all these crap venues clogging up the “whats close” screen when you are trying to do a checkin.

And ya, I know nothing will become of this but I had to vent... I feel better now but your site is still broken with no hope for a fix. Hope you all enjoy that new office you moved into.. you will be moving out real soon.. so take pictures so you can remember it a few years down the road.
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  • "It seems as the main reason for all your screw-up fixes are due to one thing – letting people add their hose to the 4SQ database... than them crying how their house is shown to the public. Who was the stupid fuck that added it? They were! So why are they crying about it being public when they added it to a LOCATION BASED SOCIAL NETWORK?"

    That isn't always the case.

    I see a lot of posts for people asking to remove their homes because their friends have added it, not themselves, the residents of the home aren't even 4sq players.

    I agree that homes probably shouldnt be venues until they have a working privacy feature for them, but calling people stupid fuck's when a lot of the time it wasn't actually them is a pretty blinkered opinion and does you no favours.
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  • I’m sad
    Mark,

    I have to agree with you on a lot of things that you say. I personally have never experienced any of the Mayor issues that you have, but I find tools like bethemayor.com very helpful in helping me figure it out. If some of the things you say are true about Mayorships, then I think Foursquare really needs to re-think the algorithm that decides how someone is declared Mayor.

    As for the other issues, they have been discussed EXTENSIVELY in this forum:

    Homes as venues: http://getsatisfaction.com/foursquare...
    Sub-venues: http://getsatisfaction.com/foursquare...

    There are some GREAT ideas to handle both situations in both of those threads. Are they under consideration? Who knows.

    The clutter on Foursquare is really frustrating. And now as more and more users start to join, it's only getting worse. You think the 42 would have come up with a solution to the two big issues listed above before the exploded, but they haven't. Now it's only going to hurt them in the future. They'll have to employ a whole team just to clean up BS venues because they didn't take the time to figure it out properly in the first place. Or, it just wont ever be cleaned up.

    The two topics above have been discussed for the past 6-9 months. It's time 42 steps up and figures these messes out before it's too late for them.

    I really enjoy using 42 and want to keep using it, but when it is cumbersome to do the two things 42 is meant to do (Find a place and check into it) -- it's bad news.

    Here's to hoping the 42 team will figure it out!
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  • Pretty much sums up my issues with Foursquare.

    But you forgot to mention the fact that we can't view where non-friends unlocked their badges! Another really frustrating, ridiculous annoyance.

    Also, does it make anyone else mad that almost every badge is only "earnable" in New York? It is completely unfair to have badges that are NOT applicable to everyone, everywhere. Of course I know some are geared to places like SxSW and other events. But why can I not earn the Historian badge in Raleigh, NC, where there is a TON of history?? Why can't I earn the Socialite or Gossip Girl badges there either?? So freaking annoying. NEW YORK ISN'T THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD, FYI.

    Foursquare, you need to listen to your users. Especially the users who have gained so much from this application and who religiously take the time to give suggestions and offer ideas that will only BETTER your work. If something doesn't happen soon, you will have none of us, who really care and want to see this go somewhere, left.
    • view 14 more comments
    • amethystmarzipan, I'm sorry, "entitlement?" As Adam said above, you totally missed my point. It is absolutely ridiculous to keep creating/allowing badges that are New York-specific only. Because, to the best of my knowledge, this is an application used WORLDWIDE. And no, I am not "WRONG" about NYC being the greatest city in the world.

      And really? Was that your only remark on this entire post? Don't be so ignorant and look at the bigger damn picture here. Maybe you should have read the rest of my post. Maybe then would you have gotten my point instead of getting in a little tizzy because I offended your yankee self. Boo hoo.
    • This comment was removed on 2010-08-06.
      see the change log
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  • I’m annoyed
    Minus the foul language this guy NAILED IT.

    I can't even get on GetSatisfaction anymore because of the terrible style/15 comment limit/everything else. I am only seeing this because someone sent it to me. I used to be vigilante about merging duplicates and trying to help the clutter to no avail. It's impossible now.

    And to create badges for cupcake shops, dog parks, and jesus christ the NORTH POLE over the hundreds of better suggestions? What are your priorities?!?!

    How many times do I have to suggest "sub-shop" and "smoothies" as a venue category?!?!

    How many times must someone bitch and complain about these things until they are fixed?!?!

    Get it together Foursquare.
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  • I’m kerfluffled
    I echo exactly what Adam said -- if you take out some of the unnecessary language, Mark's criticisms are pretty spot on.

    When I first started on Foursquare late last year, there actually was some semblance of a "game." Yeah, if you checked the leaderboards, the top 3 or 4 were generally cheaters. However, when mayorships were public information, it wasn't ultra-difficult to report them and get their bogus "achievements" pulled. But even taking them out of the equation, there was some fun to be had looking at the scores and seeing how you fared against other people in your city.

    Fast forward to today where, in my city, the lowest point total is currently 133 points. That means over a near four-day period, we're looking at a rough average of 30 points a day just to be in the bottom tier of the top 100. The current leader has 883 points...an average of roughly 220 points a day. (Let's not even kid ourselves that he/she is a cheater). Regardless, because of all of these bogus venues (homes, streets, subvenues, etc.), people are accumulating points at ridiculous rates...making it near-impossible for anyone who "doesn't play that way" to catch up.

    From a Superuser's standpoint, I've nearly lost all desire to clean up anymore. Every time I log into the site, I'm bombarded with "My toilet", "Philadelphia, PA" and "Jamie's home lol". But more and more, we are being told, "Don't touch them...they are legitimate venues." I see more crap venues than legitimate ones, yet I'm supposed to be laissez-faire about it.

    In regards to people adding someone else's house, part of Wired's big article mentioned how Foursquare led to someone getting stalked. (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010...) Admittedly, I don't know for sure if the alleged incident was related to a home venue or not. But it underscores how backwards 4sq's privatization efforts are. The problem is not whether people can see I'm mayor of Wal-Mart or if I earned my Swarm badge at Yankee Stadium. The problem is the fact that people are not only publicly broadcasting their homes (or the homes of others), they're inherently telling people when they are NOT there. Is that ultimately the responsibility of the idiot telling the world where they live? Absolutely. But by the same token, by misdirecting its privatization efforts, Foursquare is actively giving people an outlet to be careless, all the while making clean-up efforts incredibly difficult for us volunteers who are trying to make the site better. And, like many have already said, many home addresses are getting added against people's knowledge or wishes.

    Bottom line, I think we're looking at a service that got too big too quickly. They're dismissing those of us on the proverbial front line who are saying, "Hey, this s*** is a problem" because hey...they just got a nice fat $20 million check from investors.

    So who do you think they're going to listen to now?
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  • I’m a veteran of the AOL/USENET wars. Can you tell?
    Adding some fuel to the fire, did anybody else see this story on Techcrunch today?

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/07/four...

    According to that guy's research, "Home" is the most popular venue name on Foursquare and Gowalla. We have now officially been overrun by the people who put their home address on Foursquare, then complain about violating their own privacy.

    This reminds me of the September AOL invaded USENET. That did not end well.
    • view 1 more comment
    • I've been saying that for a couple months now, Mark. I've taken a hardline stance against frivolous venues on Foursquare because I don't want Foursquare to become the MySpace of checkin services. One of the reasons MySpace was able to grow like a weed is because it had an "anything goes" attitude towards users that led to the creation of a lot of disposable joke accounts, fictional person accounts, and total freakshows like Tila Tequila. After the hype died down, MySpace experienced a population crash because (in part) the non-freak users got tired of the freakshow and started fleeing to better-managed sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, nobody can figure out how MySpace is supposed to make money, because it's userbase is mostly semi-literate underemployed freaks who use the site mostly to become imaginary friends with strippers living six states away.

      I'm afraid Foursquare is headed in that direction. Right now, non-freak users are trapped between the clashing rocks of the Indonesian Cheater Mafia on one side, and Guys Who Create Venues For Bathrooms on the other. If the users in the middle get fed up and leave, Foursquare is going to be left with a userbase that's not particularly monetizable. America's small (and large) business owners aren't going to pay to reach people who never leave their bathroom (and/or Jakarta).

      At the moment, Foursquare is treating the complainers-in-the-middle as the problem children, who should be patted on the head, told "we're working on it," then ignored. The complainers here aren't the freaks, they're the early warning system. Somebody at Foursquare who actually has the power to influence things needs to stop with the incessant partying and develop a willingness to think about user management, or Foursquare will be an unusable cesspool of stupid within four years.
    • bauser, the Myspace comparison is spot on. If Foursquare doesn't care about bullshit venues and cheaters and all the other issues being discussed, it's going to take a lost less than four years to be unusable.

      To a point, it's almost already unusable. Everytime I open it to check in somewhere -- It's a mess of duplicate venues and bullshit venues. Sifting through garbage is not worth it. If it continues, people just will stop using it.
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  • I’m frustrated.
    Just correcting one single point form Mark's original post:

    "When you get ousted as a mayor of a place you get an email letting you know about it. If you check in to that venue in that same day you SHOULD regain mayorship....

    That's not true -- mayorships are stolen when they hit your # of check-ins plus one; to get it back, you then have to hit their # of check-ins plus one. So if they oust you one day and you get the notification, that means they're one up on you so if you then go and check in, that means you've tied them and you still need to do one better to get it back.
    -----

    And other than that, all i can really say is that I agree, in principle, with most if not all of the other ideas that various users have already expressed here.
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  • I’m hopeful
    5
    Hi Mark,

    You bring up some VERY valid points about things that we know are issues and are working on. I would beg to differ that foursquare is not "broken" even though we do have some known issues. I'm going to try to break down your post into topics as best I can so I can address what you're saying. Some of your questions can be answered in our basic FAQ page: http://foursquare.com/help and actually I am hard at work to relaunch a support and knowledge base system that will give people answers and deal with our MAJOR backlog of help requests (seriously, I am as upset about this as you guys. I stay up nights stressing about it because I want each and everyone to get an answer).

    1. hard to tell how far behind the mayor you are
    True-ish. We're working on updating how we give you information about your own check-in history. For now, you can hover over the mayor's photo on the venue page to see how many days with check-ins they have, and you can check foursquare.com/history to see how many days with check-ins you have there.

    2. other problems with mayorships/displaying mayors
    There should never be a mayor with zero check-ins. That sounds like a bug we had last week that was fixed. If you're seeing this somewhere still, please let me know so I can investigate!

    3. how to win back a mayorship
    You need to have one more *day* with check-ins to a venue to win back a mayorship, not tie with them. If someone has been checking into a venue regularly, you won't just earn back a mayorship on your next check-in. It's all about who is a regular, and recently.

    4. Twitter/Facebook links are listed on a public profile page
    Well, users can opt-out of showing these links to friends and non-friends. I really encourage everyone to check out http://foursquare.com/settings to see the options you have. In using a location-based service, you should really be knowledgeable about what information you are sharing and with whom. That said, we're completely rethinking our privacy settings. We've always updated these and added additional controls based on user feedback and requests, and we're continuing with that precedent. FYI--badge unlocks now no longer list the venue where you've unlocked them publicly. Only friends can see this.

    5. No longer displaying mayorships to non-friends sucks for finding people with fake mayorships
    Valid point. We made this change due to user request for privacy, but we do think that mayorships are ultimately a public declaration (hence why they show on the venue page. We can't have a venue with a private mayor. How would that be fair?). This will probably change in our privacy revamp, but we felt we should do this for now.

    6. Users can add their homes
    Yes, we've always said that users can add any venue (within reason) that has location and actually exists. Some people get out of control with roads, seats in theaters, etc. but we don't have any real way to prevent this now. This is something that the superuser community has always self-policed, and when we revamp the superuser tools (coming SOON!), we'll have a smarter way to deal with how users add venues, such as not allowing users to create something that our system thinks is a duplicate. We're going to change the messaging to clarify what it means to add a venue. Users should never add a home venue without making sure it's ok with the owner. Users should know that venues are public and that if they add something to our system, it's for people to see. That said, users ask to have their homes deleted, which I always take care of.

    7. Tag search is not working
    We disabled this due to server load. You can still search via alias, which should work just fine. If you're looking for "subvenues" I hope that doesn't mean that you are closing or merging them into a larger venue...that mucks up the database. We'll soon have a better way to deal with subvenues for places like airports and malls, so no need to close or merge them (PLEASE don't do that--thanks!).

    8. Get Sat isn't great for dealing with reporting merges.
    I know. We're revamping how merging/reporting edits/superuser tools work. It'll get better. Please remember, we are a small, young company that grew superfast. We are trying to scale as quickly as we can, but there are a lot of urgent issues.

    9. Lack of customer service
    We have a bit of a one-to-many problem here. I am but one person (granted, one who probably works as hard as two doing the job of three) whose job entails more than just customer service. It's my top priority to have information available to users so they can troubleshoot on their own (there's no way I can give one-to-one help to everyone, as my inbox would indicate), so we've been working on a huge project to get a robust FAQ and customer service ticketing system that will get people info fast. Most customer service tickets I see fall into two categories: people who just don't understand foursquare (see http://foursquare.com/help for basic stuff, poke around the site, etc!) or people who are frustrated by how foursquare functions (we're always working on improvements, trust us!). Lots of people are angry about getting a rapid fire check-in message, but 9 times out of 10 when I actually take the time to investigate their check-ins, they have a crazy number of them each day, often to faux venues. I absolutely recognize that this is frustrating for you guys, so please know that I DO care and DO wish it were possible to answer everyone directly and really do believe that what I'm working on will be a solution. So bear with me, please, and try to be nice.

    So, I hope this helps shed light on your concerns. We have a team hard at work to fix the known issues and to make foursquare even better with way more fun and utility potential!

    Chrysanthe
    Community Manager, foursquare
    • view 8 more comments
    • bauserdotcom is right, there needs to be a master list of things that should not qualify as venues. Otherwise chaos ensues and the integrity of the product falls as we are constantly pointing out.
    • Hello Chrysanthe -

      First off, thank you for giving a reply, I really was not expecting one. I really want to focus my reply on two issues...

      1. Hard to tell how far you are behind the current mayor. Your solution is a pain and not really a solution. I thank the people who have pointed to outside links/applications. But not having a real solution on 4SQ is silly. You need to split up the “your total visits” box into two boxes that are “total visits” and “within last 60 days”. Like I said, when I checkin at a place I am the mayor it tells me how many visits I have in the last 60 days – BUT THAT’S THE ONLY PLACE IT IS AT. Have it on the venue page and show when I checkin to place I am NOT the mayor. The code is there – use it.

      2. Out of control venues... thank you for acknowledging there are out of control issues here. But you are 100% wrong in the statement there is “don't have any real way to prevent this now.” Yes, you do – they are called Superusers! There has been public outcry that YOU have tied their hands with this. YOU have told them ONLY to merge (get rid of) a venue is if it a 100% duplicate. Like if I add XYZ on 123 main street, then somebody else adds the same venue then they can merge it. But If somebody adds “Bathroom stall #2 at XYZ” on 123 Main Street they are not allowed to get rid of that, they HAVE to let it be by DIRECT INSTRUCTIONS FROM YOU. Don’t talk about what is coming SOON, talk about what you can do now. Give Superusers the ability to get rid of the crap. But I understand that drawing a line can be tricky. Why not open it up for discussion and then make some rules about what can and cannot be added. But you are the one letting the crap in, DO NOT blame it on anything else.

      And no, you giving a reply does not solve the problem.. this is yet another problem 4SQ has lol.
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  • This reply was removed on 2010-07-08.
    see the change log
  • Re: zero count mayors...we changed the way we were displaying check-in counts for mayors. We're fixing it and bringing them back so that they are correct!
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    • view 4 more comments
    • Adam, as part of the engineering team over here, I hear your frustrations about how certain features and bug fixes are coming out fast enough. We are constantly trying to prioritize what to tackle first and are almost always sidetracked on projects that make it so the product can scale properly with the user-base.

      This means we are spending much of our valuable work time (and weekends!) working on making it so checkins work that we wish we could be spending on making tag search work, or better utilities to spot and fix duplicate and spam venues.

      Right now our mantra is that "if the checkins don't flow, nothing else matters." Obviously this needs to branch out to include features and bug fixes, but we're of the opinion that most of our user-base prefers a usable product to one that doesn't work half the time but has a few bugs or junk venues in it. We just got our latest round of funding, so we're looking to bolster our staff to try to get ahead of this problem and onto the issues you mention above.

      Even within that, I think there are debates about the best way to avoid spam/duplicate venues, either by making good ranking algorithms so the junk gets pushed to the bottom of searches (my person preference) or whether we should try to actively delete bad venues (the solution probably lives between the two). We're spending a lot of time thinking of scalable solutions for dealing with these problems so we can create efficient ways to deal with these problems once and for all. It's not easy though, so we appreciate your patience with this.
    • Justin - your last paragraph there.... why not just do BOTH? Why waste time trying to figure out what the correct mix is for a fix and why waste time in general? START NOW by putting the foot down on what is junk/spam and have the Superusers start deleting those NOW - like RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. Then work on your program that pushes stuff up or down on the search results list. Make a topic, name it "Post junk/spam Locations here for merge/deletion". And let your Superusers go at it. Make the guidelines say, if it is a crap sub-venue (like a bathroom stall) post that and the main venue for it and it will get taken care of. The issuse is you are wasting time sitting there NOT fixing the problem (talking about what to do is not fixing BTW). This way you can get a head start on a problem that is already WAY out of control. Really, what is so hard abou thtat???? There must be something hard because the entire 4SQ team has refused to take *any* action on this.
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  • 2
    It's my job to manage the (ever-growing and awesome) community of users, which is why I'm the only one piping in here. I'm on the product team here, so what I pass on here comes directly from what our team is working on, and what the engineering team is working on. The whole company, from product to biz dev to engineering, is working hard on a lot of what was brought up here. Much of these issues were already on the product roadmap before they were mentioned here. We're absolutely working to make improvements to the larger features that impact users (and definitely also superusers).

    We know that Get Sat is not the solution to dealing with bugs, questions, etc., which is why I've been spending most of my time creating an FAQ and support center that will launch in a couple weeks. There's one of me, and 2 million of you. I hate that people don't get immediate answers and do my absolute best to respond to as much of what directly comes my way as possible, but am working on a solution to get people answers faster than a direct line from me.

    I'm really, really sorry that you think that the future of foursquare and user concerns and usability are being ignored. This couldn't be further from the truth. We are now up to 27 people on our team who are all forward-thinking, super smart, crazy hard workers who care deeply about (and obsessively use) foursquare.

    I've always been straightforward on Get Sat and will absolutely continue to do so. It's not my style to do otherwise. I've been a daily foursquare user from the beginning (and was a dodgeball user before that), so I care a lot about the product and I care a lot about the user base. I hope you guys know that.
    • view 13 more comments
    • Sassy, I get what you're saying. To me though, it just seems like it might be more effective to have an SU who knows an area. A lot of times, a venue can be corrected by simply moving a pin. In a less populated area, a venue may not be marked on the map...you may just need to know where it is. That's where I think a "local SU" can help. I report as many dupes as I can find, but as the original poster noted, if an SU doesn't see the request quickly enough it disappears because the page only displays the last 15 requests.

      Perhaps then when/if people are granted SU status, they are told that there are certain "standards" that they must adhere to. As an SU, you're being asked to help make the whole process better for everyone. If someone is elevated to SU status and they do nothing for a certain period of time, then the SU status is taken away.
    • I agree on some kind of 'standard' for SU's, most definitely!
      I quite like the idea of just promoting SU's that are active on here so the chain always completes but the ratio of people on Foursquare that come here must be incredibly low :(
      CT did pick up on the point that GetSat really wasn't the ideal place for this so I can only presume that these new SU toys we'll get to play with soon might aid with that.
      In the mean time the best I can do right now is track all the topics on my email (I've been doing that since day 1) so even if they get knocked off I still have a copy in my inbox so I can still action it, I just can't comment to say it's been actioned which is a bit of a bummer but half the time people don't respond to those comments either.
      A big problem for me is not getting any response when I'm asked to add or change an address which 9 times out of 10 will move the pin, so I ask them to check the pin is ok and how to let me know where it needs moving to.
      So if the pin is in the wrong place people might not be able to check-in so make a dupe and the circle begins again.
      We got access to a new tool yesterday called 'fix mislocated venues' which looks like it's going to be an AWESOME tool but unlike the merge tool there is no link to the venue URL so it makes it VERY difficult to find out which pin is correct (it has various colour pins, 1 for the 4sq pin, 1 for where Google thinks it is, 1 for the 'centre' of the check-ins and then blue dots for recent check-ins). I think this is going to be great with some improvements and really help the whole pin thing and lessen the 'I'M THERE BUT IT WON'T LET ME CHECK IN!' issues but right now it's just not user friendly at all.

      The system we have right now isn't ideal and the best way to do things but I do believe with enough frequency on here by SU's we can keep it ticking over until these new tools get released.
      As much as people say 'but everything is coming soooooooon, I want it now!' I'm quite happy to do my best with what we have now and wait for these tools, however long it takes.
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  • I’m pissed
    I'm gonna bump this thread.

    These sub-venues are just ridiculous. These are the types of things I'm seeing, and Super-users are not fixing it because it's Foursquare's "official position" that Residences are valid venues:

    - Apartment Building
    - Apartment WITHIN the building
    - Beds within the Apartment.

    This is just utter garbage. I'm also seeing "Corners" of roads, just like mentioned above.

    http://foursquare.com/venue/4835783
    http://foursquare.com/venue/3392154
    http://foursquare.com/venue/2538061

    Using foursquare in New York City is going to become impossible soon if this is allowed. All you will see is people's apartments (and their beds :rolleyes:) and street corners. Real venues will be all but eliminated from the places list because of bullshit venues.

    As far as I'm concerned, foursquare needs to grow a pair and tell users to stop making these crap venues. You can come up with an algorithm to show more accurate results, but that's just hiding the actual problem.

    If Foursquare's position doesn't change on these BS venues, I'm done with it. And I know I'm not the only one.
    • The problem is exacerbated by the API, which all the mobile clients have to use. All it does is find the "nearest" 50 venues to your location (4sq decides what "nearest" means, but venues do come with a distance from your given point, so they probably are the nearest). But say you're stood on a street corner, and you have some apartments, a McDonald's, a Starbucks, a bar, etc, and someone has added some crazy subvenues in their apartments - "my bedroom", "my bed in my bedroom", "my pillow on my bed in my bedroom", "a feather in my pillow on my bed in my bedroom", "my bathroom", "the toilet in by bathroom", "the toilet seat on my toilet in my bathroom", and so on, then when I'm sat in McDonald's trying to check in, I list the nearest 50 venues, and McDonald's is pushed off the list by all the stupid subvenues.

      I love 4sq, I think it's great, and the SUs work hard to keep it tidy, but I do think it's eventually going to become unusable if the official line about stupid subvenues isn't changed.

      I totally get what Justin Moore is saying - there will be a lot of edge cases, but I'm not so sure there has to be a technical solution to this, and nor can we prevent people adding dumb venues. All it would take is someone to officially say it in this thread, and we SUs can get started. I think there's a basic agreement with most people - shops within malls are okay, shops/bars/restaurants/terminals/gates in airports are okay, but I think we all agree that bathroom stalls are not okay, nor are beds in apartments.

      This is the quote from the help page (http://foursquare.com/help/#5):


      Where can I check in on foursquare?
      You can check in any place that has location: a coffee shop, a park, the bridge you're strolling over, an airport, your home (yes, this is allowed! we'll even have a way to mark these locations private and friends-only soon), your office--basically anywhere. We find that the community mostly self-polices what is acceptable (if you create a faux venue along the lines of "Yo Momma," chances are someone will keep closing it...), so try to remember that those around you use foursquare for fun and to discover places around them as well...



      There are two key points I can see there. First, "if you create a faux venue along the lines of..." uses loose "along the lines of" terminology, which I think already recognizes that we're never going to be able to come up with an exhaustive list of disallowed venue types. But more important is the sentence "We find that the community mostly self-polices what is acceptable". We are the community, and we are willing to self police it in a sensible way that I think the whole community really does agree on - no dumb subvenues.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Pinksy, your last paragraph is the clincher. Foursquare needs to set a solid definition of venues and enforce it.

    Another issue I realized this morning -- is office buildings. Obviously there are a TON of office buildings in NYC. Even if Foursquare limited the search radius to 1 block (say, 1 building), and people created Venues for:

    - The Building
    - Companies within the building
    - Floors within the building
    etc

    The search is going to get CROWDED. it already is. I've counted like 7 or 8 different venues for companies just in my building!
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  • i'll go ahead and beat the dead horse too:

    i find foursquare fun. and i'm not going to accuse the company of doing nothing. i'm quite certain that you guys are busting your humps working on improving things. but here's a little saying that has served me well in my professional career:

    perception is what matters

    if you're working hard, but no one sees the fruits of your labors, does it really matter?

    for the better part of a year, i've seen repeated pleas from users and superusers about suggestions and fixes. and the only response i ever see is::
    • we are working hard on it!

    • big things are coming!

    • be patient!

    i see the same sentiments echoed in this very thread. the perceived inaction will eventually reach the end of people's patience.

    on top of the perceived inaction on the problems that users complain the most about, the only action taken ends up being for things that users didn't ask for, and actually don't like:
    • hidden mayorships for non-friends

    • venues hidden where badges are earned



    in the end, while foursquare does acknowledge the complaints and problems, we rarely actually see any positive action.

    (on a sub-rant, how long have you guys been working on the mark as private checkbox? seriously?)
    • view 2 more comments
    • Judging by this thread, they've been working on the "private venues" feature for five months. Which is really ridiculous, because it probably won't help that much.

      Most of the people complaining about their addresses being listed in Foursquare didn't add it themselves -- some other person who wanted to check in there added the venue. People who do things like that probably won't bother making the venue private.

      Likewise, most of the people who create joke venues like "X-Factor Home Base" and "Michelle's Vagina" aren't interested in privacy. They want the world to see their dumb jokes. Expecting them to use the private venue flag is like asking grafitti artists to only work indoors -- it's not what they do.

      So, yeah, Foursquare's been brushing off five months of problems with a solution that isn't.
    • bauserdotcom, you hit it SPOT ON!!!!

      And as more people start joining Foursquare, we're going to start seeing a lot more of these threads:

      http://getsatisfaction.com/foursquare...
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  • I’m frustrated
    I've noticed since at least last night mousing over the mayor's avatar no longer shows how many checkins they have, bethemayor seems to have broken as well (I suspect it's related)

    I appreciate that Foursquare has been unfairly targeted for supposed privacy issues, one of the prices of success I guess but it's frustrating that the whiney people and bloggers seeking sensationalist headlines are prompting changes that absolutely harm the usefulness and fun of Foursquare.

    As others have already pointed out:
    * Inability to see what venues someone (who's not a friend) is mayor of
    * Inability to see where someone unlocked a specific badge
    * Inability to see how many checkins the mayor of a venue has

    It's pretty obvious that Foursquare is operating in "Damage Control" mode and making sweeping changes based on a few complaints by people who have unrealistic expectations of privacy for a location-centric social networking site or maybe an article by some blogger looking to use Foursquares popularity to increase their AdWords revenue. While I sympathize with your predicament I really wish you'd take a more methodical approach to each issue.
    • Sorry, this was actually just broken and sometimes showed zero when it shouldn't have been. This lead to a lot of complaints that someone shouldn't be mayor because they had zero checkins, when it was actually the zero that was wrong. Regardless, we disabled this feature until it is fixed properly (not b/c of privacy concerns), hope to have it back soon!
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  • Please make it so you cannot check in to a closed venue. Please make it so you cannot add a venue unless there's some sort of address. You can't edit unless there's an address, so make it so you can't add without one!
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  • 5
    I'm done. API fails last night, down again today logging in. Cheaters are everywhere, How the hell do so many people from the other side of the USA + the Pacific Ocean get the wedding badge for @dens friends? There are more crap venues then real one just about everywhere I go. I'm playing the game honest and it's not fun where you're the only one playing by the rules. The majority of the posts above have eloquently stated the reasons I'm leaving, and they said it best than I could have so I'll leave that dead horse in peace.

    It's been real, it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun.

    Thank you, I'm out.
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  • I’m sad
    making a return to this thread ---

    It seems like requests for merges and fixes, at least in the North America topic, is 100% pointless. I gave up on this yet again after making a few simple requests with no action taken in any way.

    Also the report a problem (dup venue, closed, etc) within the phone app is also pointless, as no action is taken on these at least in my area. I have reported problems via the phone app many times again with no action taken.

    This site is in desperate need of superusers - and from all the topics I am reading there will be no "promotions" in the near future, and none have taken place in the near past.

    The site is being overrun by dupes, spam and junk - and there seems to be no real desire for anybody to fix the problems. Seems like everytime I look at the request for fixes topic (the currently used ones) there is little, if any, of the "fixed" replies.

    If there is a need - heck - promote me so I can put my money where my mouth is.
    • view 5 more comments
    • Chrysanthe, great to finally see a deadline! Just to be sure, northern hemisphere, right ? ;-)
    • I'm pretty offended by some of this post. I know you say you don't blame the SU's in your reply to Deans comment, but you can't say there is no desire to fix venues and then say it's not our fault.

      I DO believe we are getting the support from Foursquare, we've had some awesome new tools recently that have increased the speed at which venues get merged ten fold. There is much more in the pipeline and whenever I email CT or the team I get a reply usually within an hour or two and considering there are 2 million of us and 27 of them I find that a perfectly acceptable timeline.

      Making more users SU's won't fix the problem. There are a ton of SU's out there but some choose to just fix their local area and I don't think that is wrong. So even by promoting more users it won't automatically make it better.
      As this is voluntary it is totally up to the SU whether to spend time here or not.
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  • You guys bring up a good point.

    Foursquare doesn't want to listen to it's users, nor it's Super-users. But what would their system look like if the Super-users stopped doing their VOLUNTARY job?

    Maybe they should all stop merging/fixing/deleting venues for a couple of weeks and let Foursquare see what would happen without them.
    • view 13 more comments
    • 'The Boat' would be a dummy venue like 'plane on LGA tarmac' is.

      By all means you can send them on to CT or choose a certain SU to email them to, or post on the regionals, whichever you prefer.

      As for handling it, no idea, that's something you'd need to ask CT - I think she has a secret team of hamsters that work 24/7 ;)
    • Somebody ask Chrysanthe if state lines are valid venues:

      http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Afoursquare.com%2Fvenue+%22state+line%22

      I saw somebody a couple weeks ago whose twitter feed was almost nothing but state line checkins!
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  • CHAMP
    I’m eager
    I think its important to understand that 4Sq is what you make of it. The cheaters, well, they will have their day soon enough. The important thing is to just enjoy the service for what it is.

    I've read most every comment on here. (I have an incredible amount of downtime at work) and most of the points that have been brought up are valid. It's just important to remember that 4Sq is still new and growing very fast. Patients

    Things will get better. This forum is proof of that. Its refreshing to see and read people with the same thoughts and feelings as I do reguarding this service. So remember, you aren't alone.

    Don't stop reporting duplicates/mergers/closers/cheaters. Hopefully, when CT and the team re-open the SU promotions, myself and a lot of you others on here will be given the opportunity to help the likes of Sassy and Dean on bringing stability to the force. :)

    http://foursquare.com/user/joshcurry
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  • CHAMP
    I’m ready
    It's also important to remember that, as Sassy has said, 4SQ is a company of only 27 people. There are over 2 million users. The fact that this is still a functional operation is a testament to how hard these people work to make a better experience for the rest of us.

    As I have said before, I do think more SU's can help. But there must be certain standards developed that an SU must adhere to, or you lose the privilege. If there are hundreds of SU's out there (I don't know how many there are) who do nothing, strip them of their status and give it to someone else who is willing to help.

    There are many others, myself included, who would be honored to help clean up what I feel to be a great way to get to know more about places I visit, and even where I live.

    http://foursquare.com/user/jason_smith78
    • view 4 more comments
    • DDCubed, I didn't mean that the problem is with SU's. You and several others at least care enough to try. I meant that there are SU's out there who have been given this privilege and have done nothing. They don't help others out. If those SU's don't work for the better of 4sq, and instead only work for their own profile, they lose the status.

      Not sure what you're talking about, shari. It doesn't matter if you're an SU or a 4SQ employee, they aren't going to know about those bad venues if no one reports them. I have found several in my area. I reported them and an SU took care of them very quickly.
    • Jason - my point being that there's just a load of crap, and that 4SQ seems to deem this okay. One of the biggest mistakes, IMHO, was letting people add "Home" venues, because it opened the door to a maelstrom of trash locations.
      Even as an SU(1), I find it impossible to clean up stuff when 4SQ is now encouraging people to check-in from anywhere.
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  • I've got a question, hope that someone can help me!
    now that foursquare has changed i can't see my friends their location anymore!
    im not talking about the 'currently in' location,im still seeing that one, normally you were able to see their location underneath their name,also when they didnt check in somewhere. 1 of my friends is in another city at the moment but im still seeying the place where she lives underneath her name,not the name of the place where she is now!
    before foursquarre changed i was able to see that but not anymore!! help me
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  • I originally posted this in the SU merge thread but posting it here too so it gets more views - it is aimed toward SU's but it does clarify what consists of a valid venue and what doesn't :

    I've spoken to CT today about final clarification on what constitutes a spam/invalid venue and a legit one and how to go about her post regarding not closing venues unless they are businesses that have closed down.

    This thread (which I hold my hands up to say I completely missed!) does clear up most of them.
    http://support.foursquare.com/entries...

    I asked for clarification on my bed as I think some people can, and do use them as home venues (living with parents scenarios etc) but CT has confirmed these are non legit venues.

    Here is the major change and what needs to be done:
    These sort of venues should no longer be closed but sent to CT for them to deal with. This includes vulgar named venues.
    I asked if she'd prefer a daily list or a weekly digest (like I do with my 250+ lists) and she said a weekly list would be better for her.

    So, in short.
    ~Invalid venues DO consist of 'my bed' 'my toilet/starbucks restroom' 'in my car' 'on a plane' (flights are valid venues but only if named correctly as I'm sure we all know!) 'my desk' 'stuck in traffic' 'bored in XYZ' 'seat 304 in xyz stadium' 'table 4 in TGI's'
    ~ If you can find primary's for the 'bored/seat/restroom/table in so-and-so building' then go ahead and merge but if not send them to CT
    ~ Venues with 0/0/0 now need to be merged rather than closed.
    ~ As with the merge tool, if you're unsure, leave it (and send it to CT)

    Me and Dean spoke about this earlier and are a little worried about the volume of venues CT will get per week but I do think she is aware of this and wants this to happen.

    I know this may not suit everyone but as SU's we do have to work to their guidelines and not our beliefs and we all need to work from the same page.
    We now have solid clarification on what constitutes a valid venue and if you are unsure of ANY venue just send them to CT and you can move on to some genuine venue merges and edits and we keep this place as clean and simple as possible

    I hope this clears it up for us all so we know what we're doing.
    Btw, I'm just the messenger, if you don't agree with it, I'm not the person you should be speaking to ;)

    and a further comment I made after that post:
    Another thing just asked CT (I'm really hounding her today, poor girl!) towns/cities ARE legit
    • view 8 more comments
    • @Steve you are indeed right, trains/planes are a PITA to say the least!!
      But while they have a category our hands are tied :S

      @Andy - if buses are under the correct category they are classed as moving targets so the radius is much larger which reduces the change of dupes as it will show in nearby places at a much larger range than say a shop would.
      So for the mislocated venues doofy tool thing I'd personally play safe and just whack it in the middle of the check-in dots wherever possible
    • Thanks Sassy, I'll get these sorted now. :)
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  • I’m relieved
    whoaaa whatta long reply u had there Marky *wink*...
    but i think all have been answered...and me as u and bauser report as *ahem* Indonesian Cheater Mafia..trying to get cleaned things up here..with Sassy's help us out there we're cleaning up our site..and help each other informing dupe venues, unuseful ones etc etc...
    hey we lov e to play 4sq in 1st place, it meansit awesome rite?? u got interested too b4 so why not trying to make it better like we do (even though we're not SUs or staff members)

    Go 4sq... GBU
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    • view 7 more comments
    • Hey guys, we have the concept of venue hierarchies on the roadmap for possible end of year completion. Bear with us until we can get this setup!
    • Agree emphatically that airports are in need of work and the NYC ones are massive. I have spent huge amounts of time already on JFK and LGA to get them to their current state -- which as you correctly note -- is still in much need. The limitation of 50 records in a search is one limitation. The massive number of flights is another major clutter driver. There is also so much 4sq usage in the NYC area that many high checkin dupes exist that can only be cleared by 4sq employees (both dupe venues have greater than 250 checkins). Would be helpful if somehow the searching could be scaled by usage in the area so that I would be able to see more than the 50 in a search. And if the dupe checkin limits were also scaled to size of area usage so I could merge the high checkin dupes in NYC area.
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  • Sorry delay, was in Montreal on vaca last week.

    Chimming in on highways per Sassy's above suggestion. I cover the NYC and Connecticut area and a large number of 4sq users check-in to highways frequently. Due to this huge usage, I have resorted to creating 'venues' for highways at natural usage cluster points (eg I95 New Haven and I95 Stamford). This allows a more efficient organization of all the highway check-ins then simply merging all into one huge highway venue and I have seen this reduce the dupes. Not perfect, but does help. I combine exits, 'stuck in traffic', interchanges, etc venues into these natural clusters.
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  • I’m confuzzled
    to follow up on Jim's post - freewys are just as out of control as airports, but there is no word on how to fix these that I have seen. How many north, south, non-direction, this exit, this area venues do we need? Still for the life of me can not see how a freeway is a VENUE. Since the idea of 4SQ is to shout out where you are so you can meet up with friends... somebody explain how this is done while you are speeding down the freeway...

    for example the 805 (I am sure there is MANY more than this, but as you SUs know - it cuts you off at 50 results.

    http://foursquare.com/venue/4068032
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6421601
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6910860
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7017006
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5563405
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5580430
    http://foursquare.com/venue/3386914
    http://foursquare.com/venue/3486255
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7154527
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7199926
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7043053
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7839110
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6600224
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5027344
    http://foursquare.com/venue/2231514
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6746224
    http://foursquare.com/venue/4423236
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5486338
    http://foursquare.com/venue/3924806
    http://foursquare.com/venue/3234108
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5244018
    http://foursquare.com/venue/4624143
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5369035
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7035130
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6287321
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7035335
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6613198
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5991532
    http://foursquare.com/venue/3492953
    http://foursquare.com/venue/4053122
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5933671
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7206910
    http://foursquare.com/venue/5566347
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6910664
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6390666
    http://foursquare.com/venue/4752925
    http://foursquare.com/venue/4369785
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7080857
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7385467
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7193434
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7107396
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6932009
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6477514
    http://foursquare.com/venue/4909324
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6699763
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6288508
    http://foursquare.com/venue/7459025
    http://foursquare.com/venue/6125309

    So tell me - what do you do with these?
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  • Good to see that it now tells you haw many checkins you have in the last 60 days on the phone if you are close to the mayor. BUT you still need to add this info on the web.. and not just if you are close to the mayorship.
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