I've spent the last 10 days in the USA where the use of foursquare is far more advanced than it is in London (where I am based).
Interestingly, it is not just 'users' that are making it more useful, but businesses are doing their bit, creating reasons to check-in and be loyal.
Apart from using 'tips' more regularly (which I can't recommend enough), I've had a little dig and collated a list of 10 things worth looking at to enhance your foursquare experience.
The last one, is particularly, ermm...relieving...
1. Suggest your own badge idea
Admit it, you've come up with at least one idea for a foursquare badge...haven't you?
Well, don't just talk about it, do something about it.
Submit your suggestions via the official form here.
2. Steer clear of your foursquare 'enemies'
There is an app called Avoidr which keeps tabs on your 'blacklisted' friends and helps you prevent any unwanted run-ins.
You can also assign insults to those people...how very social!
Find out more about this app here.
3. Visualize your foursquare history with Google Earth
This is a neat way to bring your activity to life.
Follow the step-by-step guide located here and take a tour of your locations!
4. Claim your business on foursquare
For marketers / business owners, this function is very important.
Claiming your business gives you access to the associated activity and reporting required to gain benefit from the platform.
The step-by-step guide to claiming your business can be found here.
5. Adding an employee to your foursquare venue
This is really useful.
Foursquare, via the 'claiming your foursquare venue' function, allows you to add an employee / administrator to your account, helping improve the management of that venue.
Check out the step-by-step guide here.
6. Check in to two accounts from the same mobile phone
Are you managing both a personal and business foursquare account?
The simplest way to operate both is to install an application like Kickball.
By doing this, one account can be managed exclusively via Kickball and the other by the native foursquare app for your device.
More information available here.
7. Check in from your PC
Have you ever wanted to check in via your PC / Mac instead of your phone?
You can't do this via www.foursquare.com, but if you go to www.foursquare.com/mobile, you can - handy.
8. Foursquare for businesses page
This page takes a bit of finding on the main foursquare site but is definitely worth a look.
foursquare.com/businesses provides the basics in developing specials, promotions and setting up analytics for a venue.
9. Find the best food around you with foodsquare
This is still in it's early stages, but foodsquare.us allows you to search for the best places to eat via a mashup with foursquare recommendations / tips.
10. Find a place to 'pee' with Pee*Free
I have to end on something that might be the most useful development in the foursquare evolution.
Pee*Free helps you locate place to take care of urgent bodily function matters and even gives potential 'sites' a cleanliness rating!
Note: Some of the apps mentioned above are still in development phases and not available on all handsets / countries - but they do give you an idea of what is possible with this platform.
Have you discovered any other hidden gems?
Are you starting to notice that foursquare is becoming more useful?
Any thoughts would be really appreciated.