Checking in with the WSJ

Suffering Foursquare fatigue yet?  The Wall Street Journal certainly hopes not.

That paper based in the financial underbelly of New York today fired a cannonball across the bow of the Old Gray Lady with the launch of its new local New York section.

But better than the WSJ’s “Greater New York” lead story in the morning (This just in: “Rats Mob the Upper East Side“!) is that the paper immediately partnered with Foursquare to focus on engaging users.

[Quick explainer: Users “check-in” on their mobile phones when they arrive at various real life places . They can elect to follow their friends and send out a message or a tweet whenever they move locations to let them know where they are every minute of the day. The WSJ collected more than 700 friends by the early evening Monday.]

The Journal and Foursquare wisely created three branded badges for users to attempt to collect — two of which may just ‘remind’ users of the WSJ as they’re out and about.  For instance, two months from now when they happen to visit Staten Island, they’ll realize they just unlocked a badge they heard of today.

Foursquare, for better or worse, connects people by place.  While the friends the WSJ can track won’t amount to a hill of beans for advertisers, it is getting the paper some buzz on launch day — in addition to just the fact that it launched.

And it is that connection with readers that will drive subscriptions and prove to advertisers that you have a solid base, rather than random traffic.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check in somewhere with someone.


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