Think You Could Be Mayor of TAFA?

How the CEO of Big Cat Rescue won the crown

  • Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, was the official foursquare Mayor of TAFA.

Carie Lewis, The Humane Society of the United States' director of emerging media, wanted to add another fun element to this year's annual Taking Action For Animals (TAFA) Conference in Washington, D.C., so she looked no further than one of her favorite mobile phone apps, foursquare.

TAFA attendees could install the foursquare app on their mobile phones so they could "check in" to physical locations at the conference. Foursquare is a location-based social network where you can find your friends, find new places, and score free stuff. You get points and badges for checking in to certain places, and can become the mayor of a place if you check in there the most.

As TAFA attendees checked in throughout the conference, they could unlock a "special" by checking into a specific location, participate in a scavenger hunt including five official checkin spots, and could snag prizes if they found them all.

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, an educational sanctuary for more than 100 big cats in Tampa, Fla., was awarded the title of "Mayor of TAFA" for using foursquare to checkin the most times to the official TAFA venue. Below is Lewis' interview with Baskin on her accomplishment at this year's conference.


Carie Lewis: What brought you to the Taking Action for Animals Conference? Is this your first time attending TAFA?

Carole Baskin: It is like homecoming for us to see people that we only see once or twice a year. We have come every year from the beginning.

Lewis: What was your favorite part of TAFA?

Baskin: The information on ballot initiatives and the other legislative tracks.

Lewis: What causes and campaigns do you find yourself most passionate about?

Baskin: Anything that will end the abuse of exotic cats who are often traded as pets, props, and parts.

Connect with The HSUS on foursquare, Twitter and Facebook »

Lewis: Do you have any animals at home?

Baskin: Four cats at home and 128 large, exotic cats at Big Cat Rescue.

Lewis: What about foursquare appealed to you? Aside from foursquare, what other social media tools do you use to stay connected?

Baskin: I signed up for foursquare after hearing about it in a TAFA email. We have 300 of them [social media tools] on a spreadsheet, so probably all you could name.

Lewis: Where else do you currently hold mayorships on foursquare?

Baskin: Big Cat Rescue.

Lewis: Did you aspire to be Mayor at TAFA, or did it just happen?

Baskin: I sought out the mayorship for the benefit of the publicity to an audience of animal lovers in the hopes of raising awareness for exotic cats and their plight.

Lewis: If you could do anything with your mayoral power, what would you change about TAFA?

Baskin: Next year I want more competition for the crown.

Lewis: Is there anything else the world should know about the Mayor of TAFA?

Baskin: I am the happiest person in the world because I am surrounded by such awesome people who all share a common desire to make the world a better place.

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2010/08/foursquare_mayor_of_tafa_081610.html

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
Carole.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org
http://www.BigCatRescue.org

Caring for cats – Ending the trade

Join more than 22,000 Big Cat Rescue fans http://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Cat-Rescue-Tampa-FL/122174836956?ref=ts

Twitter:  Follow Me and get a free wild cat screen saver or ecard account @BigCatRescue

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