About 35 people gathered at Dogfish Alehouse Saturday for the second annual Foursquare Day, all while raising almost $700 for the Manna Food Center.
Most of the attendees did not know each other, but that's the point, according to the event's organizer Ching Yu.
Foursquare is a social media application for mobile phones that allows users to "check in" with their location. Yu gave the example of someone going to lunch at Chipotle: if that user's friends see where he has checked in, they could join him – or if they're too lazy, ask him to pick something up, Yu said. It is yet another way people can use the Internet to connect with and meet other people.
Attendees were from all over Montgomery County, and Mayor Sidney Katz was there to welcome them to "the greatest city in the world," as well as proclaim April 16 as Foursquare Day in the City of Gaithersburg.
Foursquare Day began a year ago through a grassroots project in Tampa, Fla. Foursquare enthusiasts all over the country joined together to promote the application, as well as use the opportunity to meet new people. April 16 was chosen because 4 is the square root of 16, with April, of course, being the fourth month of the year.
Yu, a Damascus resident, said he had attended the last Foursquare Day in Washington, D.C., but he wanted his next meet-up to be more local.
Katz wasn't the only mayor invited to the event. Yu also extended the "mayor" of Dogfish an invitation, but that person did not respond. foursquare will designate the person who checks in most frequently to a certain location the mayor of that place. Yu said a year ago, he was mayor of a multitude of places.
As the tool became more popular, "I was having my mayorships snapped up left and right, which is a good thing." A year ago, about 1 million people used foursquare. Now, the application has more than 8 million users, Yu said.
Attendees donated canned food to the Manna Food Center as part of the event, and Dogfish donated 15 percent of all its customers' bills from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.