I loved the technique I discovered of how journalists could find a good source for a story that related to a particular location. The person who checked in at a venue the most — and thus might be a good source — was the mayor on Foursquare. Here’s the lowdown on that from a post a few years ago.
Now comes news that Foursquare itself is becoming more of a local search or venue review site and is spinning off the check-in-find-my-friends function to a new app, Swarm. While Swarm still uses the mayor concept, it gives you a mayor, but only among your friends (the one who has checked in at a venue the most). And a venue can have many mayors among all the friend groupings. So it won’t work for finding the best source at a certain venue as the old Foursquare did.
Foursquare is being updated this summer. Until we know how that works, the best tip I can give reporters now for Foursquare — since it has become a local search site with reviews and tips from others — is to check those tips and you might find a story idea. One I found once was how to get less expensive parking at the local hospital.