Foursquare has become known for their -pocalypse venues that spring up around every natural disaster/significant weather event/minor tremor, but the one that’s brewing right now might just take the cake. Hurricane Sandy is still hours away from making landfall, but more than 17,000 people have already checked in to the Frankenstorm Apocalypse venue. As I write this, 2,400 people are currently checked in.
The venue, of course, features the usual assortment of funny photos and witty tips (“Hurricane Sandy is the new Snooki. Blowing everything within a 50 mile radius of the Jersey Shore.”), but it’s also serving as a useful hub for storm updates. The folks behind @frankenstorm_ny have claimed the venue and are using foursquare’s new local updates feature to send out hurricane news directly on foursquare, including images, evacuation information and forecasts.
With local updates, people who’ve checked in multiple times or liked the venue (with a rating of 9.0, it’s apparent plenty of people have — that may all change by tomorrow, though!) see the updates right in their foursquare news feed, while those checking in for the first time see them on the post check-in screen. For an event of this nature, it’s a surprisingly effective tool.