A social network called Foursquare lets users alert friends to their whereabouts without a phone call. Users accumulate virtual "badges" for visiting venues, and can even earn the title of "mayor" when they sign in frequently from their favorite bar or other gathering place. Businesses are starting to catch on, with a bake shop in Austin, Texas, offering free coffee and cupcakes to "mayors" who check in via Foursquare.

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