Sooner or later, Foursquare must standardize it’s venue naming convention. Truth be told, it should be now not later. Venue naming is already chaotic and it only adds more duplicate venues than before.
I even saw one user entering the same venue 4 times and another venue 5 times! Why? The venue can be written in different ways. I can say this guy is a seasoned Foursquare user because he added a lot of other venues, we can assume that he is aware of the rules and guidelines in entering a new venue.
But sad to say, he still did it – created multiple duplicates himself. The lack of a naming convention is not the only problem in this case, we can also safely assume that the search algorithm of Foursquare did not returned any result when he did search (if he did search for the venue). Of course it could also be that he was in a hurry and care less about duplicates at that time. I talked about these other problems here: Solutions to Foursquare Venue Problems, you better read it and give your inputs.
Today, it is about standardization of venue names. My proposal is simple to follow and to remember:
Official Venue Name [- sub-venue branch identifier] (parent-venue or location of branch identifier)
Official Venue Name – this is an existing, official rule and guideline of Foursquare. Venue names must use the official name of the venue, store, or any establishment. It should be 7-Eleven and not 7-11 / 711. The correct is Starbucks Coffee and not Starbucks.
sub-venue branch identifier – this is only applicable to sub-venues like those inside a Mall where there are more than one branch of the same sub-venue available. Examples are:
- Jollibee – Main Mall (SM Mall of Asia)
- Jollibee – Entertainment Mall (SM Mall of Asia)
- Jollibee (EDSA – Evangelista Makati)
(parent-venue or location of branch identifier) – mandatory for venues or establishments that are known to have multiple branches. Examples:
- 7-Eleven (Evangelista-Gen. Alejandro Makati)
- 7-Eleven (Evangelista-Arnaiz Makati)
- 7-Eleven (Don Bosco Street-Chino Roces Makati))
the suggested format, Foursquare venue names will be much clearer for everybody. When we search for venues especially if we’re using our mobile phones, we can tell in one glance if a particular venue that showed up in our search is the one we are looking for.
Here are more examples:
- SM Cinema (SM Mall of Asia)
- SM Cinema (SM Megamall)
- Starbucks Coffee – Main Mall (SM Mall of Asia)
- Starbucks Coffee – Entertainment Mall (SM Mall of Asia)
- Starbucks Coffee – One Ecom (SM Mall of Asia)
- Starbucks Coffee (Plaza One Hundred Makati)
I chose the name “SM Cinema” because I noticed how SM Supermalls separates each project or “sub-venue” of their mall into different “internal” departments. Another good example is “SM Cyberzone” which is in itself a department with its own management, and at the same time a “sub-venue” in SM Supermalls.
Last but not the least, a good example of following my suggested Foursquare Venue Naming convention – Starbucks Coffee. As you can see above, there are three branches of the coffee shop inside SM Mall of Asia.
The names “Main Mall”, “Entertainment Mall”, and “One Ecom” were taken from the official names of the “parent-venue” itself. That is our “sub-venue branch name”. But I hear someone saying, “does it matter?”
Oh yes it does. Remember, Foursquare isn’t just a “game”, it is a system that establishments can tap to reward the current “Mayor”. How can you reward the current “Mayor” if the there are multiple branches of the same store inside a “parent-venue” like a Mall in this case?
It does matter, yes, because each branch of a store inside these “parent-venue” like a Mall have their own store staff and resources. Not because they are located inside a Mall does it mean they have one universal store manager nor does it mean their staff can be re-assigned to the other branch. They do not share their resources, they do not even combine their revenues together! Each branch within a “parent-venue” is independent – you can go ask them yourself because I did
So, a Foursquare Mayor of “Starbucks Coffee – Main Mall (SM Mall of Asia)” is different from the one in “Starbucks Coffee – Entertainment Mall (SM Mall of Asia)”. The Main Mall branch could have been rewarding Mayors for some time already (example only) but the Entertainment Mall branch doesn’t have any plans to do so. They’re independent and as such should also be represented separately in Foursquare.
That is my suggestion, a proposal if you will. Let us follow the same format and I submit to Foursquare that they implement a standardized venue naming convention the soonest possible time.
We also need a way to lock editing of venues from the current “Mayors”. If they want to do an edit, then it will require an approval from at least Super-User Level 2. We’re the volunteers after all, it is only appropriate to save us from re-editing venues some new Mayor changed to his own liking.
Be sure to read also: Solutions to Foursquare Venue Problems.
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