A student at the Wise Library on West Virginia University’s downtown campus can receive valuable information about the best spots to study and where to get a snack just by “checking in” on foursquare.

WVU is now part of the foursquare for Universities program, which allows universities to use the mobile application to help make areas fun and easy to navigate and explore.

Friends, students, visitors, alumni, staff and others can now receive information about WVU by checking in to one of the 105 locations on campus.

“While at its heart foursquare is a game, WVU can use it to offer useful, relevant and accurate information to players based on their location,” said Dave Olsen, professional technologist at WVU University Relations – Web.

As part of the game, users have the opportunity to earn five badges that can only be earned on a university campus. They are: Campus Explorer, for checking in at 10 locations around campus; Bookworm Bender, for checking in at the library after midnight; “Smells Like School Spirit,” for checking in at five athletic events; Campus Munchies, for checking in five times at dining locations; and Quad Swatter, for checking in at one of the Universities quad/commons areas, such as the Mountainlair plaza or Woodburn circle, 10 times.

Each time the user checks in, tips from the University and other users will pop up giving the user additional information about the area.

“The goal is for students to have fun with this application, but also learn something or get useful information,” said Tommy Napier, graduate assistant for WVU University Relations who helped with the program. “For instance, we were able to promote the Writing Center in Colson, the Math Learning Center in Armstrong and the Business Plan Competition at the business school. All this info comes conveniently to the user at a relevant time –when they are close to the actual venue.”

Information on the history of some WVU buildings, famous alumni and campus businesses, including specials, will also appear in some cases.

“Philosophically, foursquare helps tell the story of place,” Napier said. “It adds a human element layer to the landscape. When you check into a place, you automatically begin to understand the context of a place through the tips and comments left by other users. Every college has a personality, and I believe that this is one way that WVU can communicate the unique things about our school and our brand. It is also another way for people in Morgantown and around the world to learn about WVU and what it has to offer.”

The application also allows those associated with WVU, but not necessarily students, to find friends, make announcements through status updates and get suggestions on things to do across campus.

As users check into locations in other cities, they may also receive information about places WVU alumni in the area gather for game watches and other things.

Other universities using the application include Syracuse, Harvard, Arizona State and Texas A&M.

To view WVU’s foursquare page, go to http://foursquare.com/westvirginiau .

Currently WVU has 1,200 friends on foursquare and more than 11,000 check-ins. The top five locations for visitors to check-in are Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, the Mountainlair, Health Sciences Center, Coliseum and the Engineering Sciences Building.

The University is encouraging friends of WVU to leave tips for others to benefit from. Campus businesses interested in providing specials for users that check-in to their locations are encouraged to contact WVU University Relations – Web at web_services@mail.wvu.edu .

Foursquare is just one of the social media networks that WVU belongs to. The University just passed 100,000 fans on Facebook and 4,000 fans on Twitter; and WVU’s YouTube page is home to hundreds of faculty, staff and student-produced videos. More information on WVU’s social media connections is available online at http://connect.wvu.edu .



CONTACT: University Relations – News

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