Social Statistics

It's all about About Me & Social Media

I’ve been thinking about Foursquare a lot lately. It’s something I use every day to keep friends in the loop & as a sort of diary / life-tracking tool (I’m not really driven by the gaming or deals mechanics). The problem is that without good social ‘plugins’ it’s difficult to cross-promote the fact that you’re using it…

I’m aware that the current application of this data isn’t the solution to my initial problem. This is a proof of concept & I treated it more as an opportunity to hack around with APIs and feeds to see if I could get the data. This is the first part of an ongoing experiment to see if integrating foursquare activity into your WordPress blog has value.

Social Statistics Proof of Concept


Foursquare have changed the way you interact with their content now, instead of needing to get things via the API you can just get it through a private RSS feed. For non-technical people like me that means it’s a lot easier to get the information you want out.

It’s really easy to get, the venue name, location (for integration with google maps), venue icon and date/time. I grabbed it all using SimplePie because it’s built into WordPress, but you could do it with anything similar.


I’m not one for reinventing the wheel unnecessarily, so for all the Twitter stats I used @rarst‘s Twitter Snippet. The snippet allows you to grab the twitter username, followers and status count. It’s also got caching etc built in so need to worry about that either!

The stats about me (age, cats etc) are just for fun & hard coded, there is no API for kittens.

Check out my Social Statistics

What’s next?

I’ve started working on a plugin that does for Foursquare what TwitterTools does for Twitter. Post updates of recent places into your feed, aggregates recent places into a sidebar widget etc.

If you’ve got any feedback, ideas or suggestions, leave a comment – I would love to hear them.