Ten FourSquare Badges We’d Like Made To Honor Community Service

This is a cross-blog post from Stage Two’s website where I work and co-authored with Jeremy Toeman. Originally posted on Stage Two’s blog on  March 24, 2010.

At this year’s South by Southwest interactive conference (SxSWi), geo-location service, FourSquare, released 16 new badges that users could earn – all of which had different requirements. For those using services like FourSquare or even GoWalla, the interest in using these tools is pretty much for the entertainment value, meaning that they don’t care how many “points” they get, just that they received a new badge which would entitle them to bragging rights. With this great appeal towards these virtual badges, we here at Stage Two thought that some more meaningful ones should be created for FourSquare users to truly “connect” a bit more deeply.

Stage Two loves to do community service and with all the great talk about geo-location, we felt that this is just another evolutionary step FourSquare could take to add some more meaning to their ever-popular application. We’ve done a few service projects here at our agency and had a lot of fun in the process. For me, it was great getting to help others and these badges could be used as a way to pay homage to  those who spend their time helping others as well.  Here are the ten new badges Stage Two would love to see show up – cheesy names and all:

  1. Spare a Pint? Badge – (Blood Bank) One of the things people think about when they’re helping others is giving blood. So now you’ve unlocked the “Spare a Pint?” badge on FourSquare! Just like it’s as easy as getting a Starbucks badge on FourSquare just for checking in and getting your coffee, getting this badge should be just as simple, except you’re going to be saving someone’s life as a result of getting the badge.
  2. Serve Em Up Badge – (Soup Kitchen or Food Bank) How often do you feed the less fortunate? In unlocking this badge, you’ve spent some time at your local food bank making sure their food gets delivered to others. And if all you need to do is package some ocra or bundle some cabbage or oranges, that’s the least you can do to earn this badge.
  3. Welcome Home Badge – (Habitat for Humanity) Usually in FourSquare you have to create a venue or have one already established in order to check-in, but in this case, you’re going to put the cart before the horse…you’re going to get a badge for helping to create place that someone’s family will be able to call their home.
  4. Delivery Boy/Girl Badge – (Meals on Wheels) Get this badge to show your support and commit to saying that you’re proud to drive around and deliver meals to the needy.
  5. Biggie Badge – (Big Brother/Big Sister) A lot of children participate in Big Brother/Bisg Sister and need our help to stay out of trouble. Whether that’s mentoring someone to do better in school or just being there for them, everyone who helps out at this organization and checks in on FourSquare should be given this badge – it can proudly be displayed and tell others that that person wants to help others succeed in life. Bravo!
  6. Kris Kross Badge – (Red Cross) Not one to exploit tragedies, but if you decide to help in an emergency, whether it’s local, statewide, national or even international, you should be recognized for your actions and good deeds in helping out the Red Cross. This is in honor of all the volunteers who risk their lives to help others.
  7. Bell Ringer Badge – (Salvation Army) Helping those less fortunate is more than just a tax write-off at the end of the year. This badge is in honor of those people at the Salvation Army who spend their days helping those who can’t help themselves.
  8. Think of the Children Badge – (Toys for Tots) Young children should not go without the toys they need. Donating toys to those kids for the Toys for Tots program is a noble gesture and this badge gratefully acknowledges your charity.
  9. Red Ribbon Badge – (AIDS Walk) A lot of people sadly die each year from AIDS. By participating in an AIDS awareness and event, you’ve earned this badge that will go along with your red ribbon to remember those with this terrible disease.
  10. Good Samaritan Badge – Earned by gaining any five of the above badges (or by going to five different volunteering venues/facilities).

There you have it…ten badges we’d like FourSquare to create to honor those who volunteer their time helping to make the community a better place. What other badges do you think FourSquare should make that would promote community service or other worthy causes?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."