Yesterday, I realized that Cincinnati’s Foursquare Day venue had a huge projection screen, but nothing to put on it. I imagined it should be filled with tweets about Foursquare Day, the number of people checked in, etc. Luckily, I knew of a few companies who’d already built exactly what I was looking for.
I reached out to Mark Hemphill, founder of Screenscape, and within minutes he responded with an enthusiastic yes. They offerÂ single venue memberships that are perfect for single event like ours in Cincinnati. Even more interesting, we can use a ScreenScape Group to create a widespread content sharing network consisting of any number of other sites. Essentially, this allows us to create a Foursquare Day simulcast that links participating venues around the world.
ScreenScape is offering each Foursquare Day participant a single venue member membership (technically it’s a free trial). This will give each venue free access to the system for Foursquare Day. After each participant signs up, I’ll invite you to join the Foursquare Day ScreenScape Group and this will allow us to link all the individual sites together and push content centrally out to everyone in the group. This means that each local display will have a mix of local content authored by the local participant and some that I’m creating in conjunction with the 4sqDay team and pushing to every screen in the group.
Screenscape is able to show a wide variety of content, from simple text- and image-based slides, to videos and dynamic Twitter, RSS and Media RSS feeds. Most importantly for Foursquare Day, it’s also capable of displaying foursquare venue information, such as the number of people currently checked in, the mayor and any specials the venue is offering.
I’ve created a very rough draft of the display for Cincinnati that you can view to get an idea for how it could look or you can check out their demo that shows how a typical bar would use ScreenScape.
The ScreenScape Community also offers peer-to-peer content sharing. Â That means any member can subscribe their display to content authored and shared by any other member. This also means that you anyone in your local area can contribute to your display by having them upload and share content through a producer account.
I’m currently working on a few widgets that will contain foursquare trivia, the #4sqDay Instagram feed, slides about earning the official Foursquare Day badge, etc. By joining our group you’ll see this content in your display mixed in with your own. You might, for instance, upload your own image or video to thank you to your local sponsors or use an MRSS feed of Flickr photos taken at your event (Eye-Fi anyone?) to make your display even more interactive and real time.
How to Get Started
There are a few steps you’ll need to take now to get Screenscape set up for your venue:
- Sign up for Screenscape’s risk-free trial. They offer a 14 day free trial, which we’ll be taking advantage of. The signup process is straightforward, but you will be asked for your credit card number (please don’t use the Invoice option). You won’t be charged anything unless you don’t cancel within 14 days. Set a reminder in your calendar.
- Send the name on your ScreenScape account to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll add you to the Foursquare Day group, which will allow you to pull Foursquare Day content into your own displays.
- Find out what kind of display your venue has available. Many bars or restaurants have HDTV screens they’d likely be willing to let you use. If they don’t have anything, you could bring your own monitor or even set up a laptop on a table to display the content.
- Youâ€™ll need an Internet-connected computer (ScreenScape calls them “display appliances”) to provide a signal to your screen. Find a computer with a fast processor that’s capable of running Adobe Flash Player (full HD video) from within a browser. Â This is what will actually power your display. You’ll need to put it in full screen and/or kiosk mode during the event and output the display to the monitor at the venue. Â To learn more visit ScreenScape Support.
There are some cool things we can do with this technology that we wonâ€™t go into in detail here in the post. We’ll be starting a conversation in the comments about different content ideas and ways to set up and use Screenscape for Foursquare Day. We’ll be joined by members of the Screenscape support staff to help work through any issues.