What's In A Name?
Dennis Crowley always knew he wanted to name his location-based check-in app ‘foursquare.’ But the name was too expensive for the ITP alum when he started building the game in 2004–so he settled for a reference to another ball-based pastime of our youth: dodgeball. The name still has a nostalgic place in the hearts of members of the New York tech and media, but it no longer signifies a new front for social media.
This week, Mr. Crowley passed the Twitter handle on to another New Yorker, Chris D’Angelo, whose plan is to use it for his campaign to make dodgeball an Olympic sport. “I am by no means a techie. I’m just a guy who wants to throw red rubber balls at others guys and win medals on behalf of my country,” he told Betabeat by email.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley reported his location via his cell phone for the 5,000th time. Betabeat was lucky enough to catch the moment–we’d just wandered in for the foursquare Global Hack Day demos and were approaching the sandy-haired CEO when we heard him proclaim the milestone, keyed in on a white iPhone with a not-so-subtle foursquare sticker on the back. We peeked over his shoulder at the four-digit number. It looked very round.
But not as round as the “0” next to it.
“You have zero mayorships?” Betabeat exclaimed.
Akshay Patil logged his first check in back in the summer of 2005, as a rookie Google employee working across the hall from Dodgeball. At the time he found it solved multiple problems – from goe-locating to group messaging – that are currently the rage among mobile apps. “Maybe because it was novel at the time, but one of my favorite experiences in the location space was with Dodgeball, long ago.