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Foursquare Checks Into Politics With C-SPAN

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 22, 2010 12:30 PM

C-SPAN is bringing its mandate as a conduit to American politics and debate to the people via Foursquare. Its user base can now tap into C-SPAN content that's been geotagged as relevant to their physical location.

The partnership marks another milestone for Foursquare as it evolves beyond community and social check-ins to curated content. Bravo, the New York Times, A&E’s History Channel and MTV have already gone mobile ‘geosocial’, and tapping into C-SPAN could help make Foursquare a vital part of the political debate ahead of the next U.S. election cycle.

Far from stodgy public access programming, C-SPAN has been embracing social media (and taking its shows on the road) as it pushes for greater public access through media coverage of the House and Senate and the Supreme Court.

Now, Foursquare users who friend C-SPAN can, via Foursquare.com/cspan, access an abundance of C-SPAN content about U.S. public policy, politics, and government – a virtual tour guide to the inner workings of American democracy.

If a user searches Foursquare for the U.S. Capitol, up comes a C-SPAN video with information about the Federal budget. Search for the White House, and view a C-SPAN interview with President Obama that was taped in the White House library.

Primarily focused on Washington at launch, locations beyond the beltway will soon be added. Until then, C-SPAN is bringing its content across America by going mobile - literally - with the C-SPAN Digital Bus. The move also helps C-SPAN's cable operator owners by touting their public affairs partnership in cable systems across America.

"Establishing a presence on foursquare is a natural progression for C-SPAN as we continue to embrace new and emerging online tools to advance our public service mission," says C-SPAN’s ‘Foursquare mayor,’ Rob Kennedy, also C-SPAN co-president. “Foursquare gives us another new platform, providing location-based information about politics, policy, and government directly to the public. Via geo-social networking, we hope our foursquare friends will get Washington their way."

Dennis Crowley, Foursquare co-founder launched dodgeball.com, one of the first mobile social services in the US which Google acquired in 2005. Now with Foursquare, Crowley’s mash-up of social, locative and gaming elements as incentive to explore one’s environs is providing a breadth and depth of content that is unprecedented.

While Google Buzz and Yelp leverage ‘check-ins’ and community participation, Foursquare has upped the ante on editorial quality by adding C-SPAN's trusted, branded content, debate and analysis to the community, whether virtual or actual.

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