Foursquare Day, International Online Holiday, Launches In Tampa

The first official Foursquare Day was launched in Tampa and recognized in cities all over the world on April 16, 2010. What began with a small idea from Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford of Bright Eyes Vision Care, a Tampa optometrist, and a small group of friends, made international social media history.

Selecting the date for this official holiday event was fairly simple. The number four when squared is 16. So 4/16 seemed to be the ideal date to host Foursquare Day and a badge was even created for participants to earn.

More than 872 Facebook fans confirmed attendance to Tampa Bay's foursquare social gathering held on 4/16 at the Hyatt Regency Tampa. A celebration for social media around the world, the event had food and drink specials, free appetizers and, of course, free WIFI.

While Bonilla-Warford is the originator of this worldwide event, he is reluctant to take too much credit. Noting Jessica Barnett as one of the key players, Bonilla-Warford says that it was truly a group effort that made Foursquare Day possible and successful. "We assembled a group of about a dozen people who all have relatively different skillsets and networks, and they've all just contributed and it all fell in place the right way."

Friends know the good doctor as Nate. Social media friends call him Dr. Nate. And his social media handle for most things is NateBW. Bonilla-Warford said it's assumed that Foursquare Day will be an annual event, but they will sort through everything to ensure that the event remains meaningful and moves along intelligently.

While Bonilla-Warford is an active social media user, understands its value and is the reason people will say, "Happy Foursquare Day!," his real passion is improving children's lives who have visual problems that affect reading and learning.

Still a little shocked, yet equally thrilled about it all, Bonilla-Warford said, "My original goal was to help promote my business, like I do everyday and try to get a few more check-ins on Foursquare. That's literally what I was trying to do. I wasn't trying to change the world. I was trying to be a business owner."

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford, Bright Eyes Vision Care
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