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8/16/2011
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Where's Obama? White House Joins Foursquare

People can follow President Obama's travels or check in to the White House through the social networking site.

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The White House has joined the Foursquare location-based social networking service, a move that shows again the Obama administration's support of a more transparent and tech-savvy federal government.

Users of the service--which allows people to virtually "check in" to various businesses, landmarks, and other locations around the globe--can now use the White House Foursquare page to follow President Obama as he travels and uses the service to let people know where he is, according to a White House blog post.

They also can themselves check in to the White House if they are visiting the presidential home or attending an Obama town hall event. The White House also has elected to use the tips feature, which can recommend places the president has visited and share what he did while he was there. It's also sharing historical information about sites President Obama visits.

President Obama joined the service as he's embarking on an "economic bus tour" of town hall meetings across the Midwest to find out how the economy is affecting people.

"You can follow the President on the road through Cannon Falls, Minnesota; Decorah and Peosta, Iowa; and Atkinson and Alpha, Illinois," according to the blog post. "Through the new White House page on Foursquare, you can keep up with the President's tour and check in to let your friends know you're there."

The White House already has updated its page with information about the president's stop at Lower Hannah's Bend Park in Minnesota, where he spoke to a crowd of about 500 people Monday.

The White House joins the Department of State in hosting a page on the site and using its expanded features. The State Department, for example, uses its page to provide tips for travelers. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also has a page on Foursquare.

Other departments don't have pages but are listed as venues on the site, which means people can check in to them. They include the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and Department of Treasury, among others.

Foursquare, based in New York City, has more than 10 million users worldwide and offers mobile applications for the iPhone, Android, Palm, BlackBerry, Windows, and Nokia Ovi platforms.

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