Mashable just reported that location-based game and smartphone app foursquare has launched a charity partnership in New York City with CampInteractive, a joint venture with Pepsi, that "aims to inspire inner-city youth through technology."
Foursquare continues to gain popularity as it shows up in new cities across the world, and has certainly shown promise in the Twin Cities as a fun and useful tool for navigating the local social scene.
Minneapolis businesses like Solera and Bryant Lake Bowl are already in on the action, and "check ins" at nearby venues alert users of Mayor Specials that typically translate to free drinks when the mayors of these venues stop in and prove their status.
It would be useful for businesses to try to attract new customers as well as securing repeat business, though. For instance, if someone's already mayor of a particular venue it means that they've checked in more than other local users - in essence, they're a regular already. Foursquare users might be more apt to try new places if a "Special Nearby" shows up for potential patrons other than the mayor.
Either way, Minneapolis has a solid handle on foursquare for business already, and New York City's example of a charity partnership will hopefully pave the way of more relationships like that, using social media and networking tools for a worthy cause.