Meet the real mayor of the White House on Foursquare
You may have read today that "The White House" has joined the social networking site Foursquare, so followers can track President Barack Obama. There is a new "White House" page where Obama’s staff checks-in to specific locations when the president travels around the country, so fans in those areas can come out and see him ...
You may have read today that "The White House" has joined the social networking site Foursquare, so followers can track President Barack Obama. There is a new "White House" page where Obama’s staff checks-in to specific locations when the president travels around the country, so fans in those areas can come out and see him or at least see where he recently was.
But actually, the actual White House here in Washington, DC, has been a Foursquare location for over a year and it already has its own "mayor," the person who checks in the most.
"The White House is now on Foursquare, a location-based social networking website, which is the latest way for you to engage with the administration," the White House said in a blog post on the move today. "There are over 10 million people already ‘checking in’ around the world, and now you’ll be able to discover ‘tips’ from the White House featuring the places President Obama has visited, what he did there, plus historical information and more."
That’s nice, but the other, unoffficial White House on Foursquare already has 23,568 check-ins, including six from your humble Cable guy, and 124 tips posted by everybody from Politico to Ellen DeGeneres.
Not only that, the existing White House on Foursquare already has a "mayor": Aya Maher, a staff reporter with the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, who gave an exclusive interview on today’s news to The Cable.
Maher said she’s been mayor of the White House on Foursquare for over a year, but hasn’t quite received the kind of attention that President Obama has gotten by being on the site for only one day.
"It gives me a lot of street cred among my social-media-savvy friends, but sadly, has had no other benefits," she said. "I do get a lot of random tourists wanting to be my friend."
She questioned whether Obama really has the wherewithal to check in on Foursquare consistently enough to establish a successful Foursqare identity.
"I imagine that POTUS has a lot of people calling and emailing him all the time, which could really divide his attention, and quite honestly, diminish his chances at ever really making it big on Foursquare," said Maher. "Alas, I think he is going to have to make the tough choice between being the president or the mayor of the White House."
And what does Maher think of the fact that the White House has swooped in and replaced the existing White House Foursquare site that she worked so hard to become the leader of?
"As POTUS’ soon-to-be mayoral predecessor, I think the least he can do is give me an exclusive interview," she said.
Foursquare individuals register their location, allowing friends and fans to track exactly where that person is at any time, so they can meet up in person or rob their house when they’re out of town. Follow the new, official White House Foursquare page here, the old White House page here, Maher’s page here, and the Cable guy’s page here.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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