Did you know: Omaha developer had hand in foursquare’s Palm app
Video from foursquare on YouTube.
If you're a foursquare user who checked-in to a venue this past Saturday you may have been surprised to learn that it was Foursquare Day, the second annual social media holiday celebrating, of course, all things foursquare and taking place on April 16 (4/16). With the check-in, users earned a Foursqare Day Badge to add to their virtual badge library.
In the days leading up to the holiday, foursquare released the video above to thank users for their dedication and contributions to their mobile app which was launched just over two years ago. While watching the video myself the remarks made by a gentleman named Holger particularly caught my attention (0:20 mark): "Thanks so much for using foursquare on all these different mobile platforms: Windows Mobile 7, Symbian, Nokia Series 40 and Palm." Of the four, I remembered that an Omahan, Christopher Van Buskirk, once told me he had a hand in creating the latter one.
I reached out to Van Buskirk (left, photo courtesy of Van Buskirk), who did indeed have a hand in the creation of the Palm foursquare app, and I conducted a brief email interview with him to learn more. Currently, Van Buskirk is the business manager at Birdhouse Interior Design, an interior design firm co-owned by he and his wife, Jessica McKay.
Silicon Prairie News (SPN): What was your role in creating the the foursquare app for the Palm? Who continues to develop it to this day?
Christopher Van Buskirk: My role was 99% graphic and design. Creating icons for buttons, layout, that kind of stuff. All of the development now is handled by Geoff Gauchet, whom I worked with initially. Andrew Walpole also created the very first, most basic version of the app.
SPN: How did you come to create the app? Did you work with foursquare on it?
Van Buskirk: As far as creating the app, I had read about the company when they were just getting started, and loved the idea. They didn't have an app for Palm devices, or any plans for one that I knew of, so I emailed Naveen Selvadurai directly and offered up my help. He put me in touch with Geoff, who had done the same thing, and we started working together on it, with Naveen offering advice, API help, and design tips. We actually used Google Wave to do most of our brainstorming, which was fantastic for all three of us to bounce ideas around. I think we were pretty much the only people using it, though.
SPN: How long have you been a user of foursquare?
Van Buskirk: I started using foursquare a few months after their SXSW launch in 2009, probably around April or May of that year.
SPN: Anything else you'd like to add?
Van Buskirk: Other than that, not much, just that foursquare was great and really easy to work with. Palm was (and is) really great about support, we had a couple conference calls with Dion Almaer and some other marketing people over there before we launched, where they threw their full support behind us, so that we were able to launch an extremely beta version on New Year's Eve 2009.
Editor's Note: As a blast from the past, check out some of the coverage from the launch of the Palm foursquare app (links include app photos):