Check in at the Sandbar on Gowalla

Last spring we set up the Sandbar on Whrrl and Foursquare, two location-based social networs that allow you to check in, share your location and find friends. We added "specials" that allowed users to get free jukebox credits when they checked in and showed their status to the bartender.

Now, we've added a third network: Gowalla. It's similar to the others, with one big difference: the network was co-founded by an alumnus of KU. Which makes it a big deal in our opinion. And he's been to the Sandbar. Check out the picture he uploaded to our spot on Gowalla.

If you check in to the Sandbar on Gowalla, you'll get this nice friendly welcome message:

Once you check in, show this message to the bartender and they'll load five free credits on the jukebox for you. This offer is only valid before 9 p.m., any day of the week.

You can find our spot on Gowalla here.

Another reason we like Gowalla: the AP Top 25/Gowalla Check In Challenge. The contest encourages fans to check in to five designated locations on their college campuses, and at the end of the regular football season the school with the most points will earn a $10,000 donation to their general scholarship fund. You can also win random prizes like MacBook Airs and iPods, just for checking in.

KU is pretty far behind in the standings right now, but you can help! Use Gowalla to check in at the University, Allen Fieldhouse, Memorial Stadium, the Campanile or the Kansas Union and you'll earn a point. Send your check-in to Twitter or Facebook and you'll earn five more. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Social Media and the Sandbar Block Party

It's no secret that we love social media at the Sandbar. We Facebook, tweet and upload pictures and videos. And of course we blog.

We'd love for you to party with us not only AT our block party on Saturday, but also online. Here's how.


  • Follow us on Twitter @thesandbar. You don't have to have an account to see our tweets, but if you want to interact with us you'll need an account.
  • If you tweet about our party, be sure to use the hashtag #sb21. There might be prizes!
  • We'll also set up a TweetGrid soon so you can follow the conversation about the party in one place.
  • Tweet your party pictures to us!


  • "Like" our page on Facebook (our page settings require that Facebook can confirm you are at least 21 in order to become a fan).
  • Upload your party pics to our Facebook page and tag your friends!


  • Join our Flickr group to add your own party pictures. Be sure to tag them with #sb21
  • Even if you don't have a Flickr account, you can still upload your party pics and tag them, and we'll be able to find them.
  • You can also check out our Flickr photostream, no account required.


  • We love videos! Check out our video channel to see past videos. 
  • Upload your own party videos to YouTube. Tag them with #sb21 and let us know about it!
  • No account is required to view videos. We'll upload party videos sometime next week. (Maybe. We still haven't uploaded last year's video!)


  • Check in on your preferred location-based social networking site!
  • Look for the event "Sandbar 21st Birthday Bash and check in.
  • Maybe we'll get another swarm badge!

Those are just a few of the ways you can participate online for our 21st birthday, whether you're at the party or halfway across the world.

We definitely want to see your pictures and videos, so be sure to tweet, Facebook, upload, or email them to us! And, we'll also be looking for a few good bloggers to write a recap of their party experience for us. So keep track of any funny stories from the party, because we'll be asking for them!

Check back for ways you can win PRIZES for social-medializing with us!

Social Media Day at the Sandbar

Obviously, the Sandbar likes social media. We blog, Facebook, tweet and share pictures on Flickr and videos on YouTube. We've hosted tweetups and even achieved the coveted Foursquare Swarm Badge. And we have some special offers for customers who "check in" using location-based social media networks Whrrl and Foursquare.

We invite you to celebrate Social Media Day with us next Wednesday, June 30. Mashable, the world's most popular blog devoted to social media, has decreed June 30 to be Social Media Day. They're organizing meetups in cities where they have staff, and they've encouraged the rest of the world to organize their own meetups that day too.

So, whether you keep up with family on Facebook, tweet with strangers, network on LinkedIn, dabble in another form of social media- maybe you even still have a MySpace account like us!- or you just want to enjoy a refreshing cocktail, join us next Wednesday night. 

  • When: Wednesday, June 30
  • Time: 6 p.m.- 2 a.m.
  • Where: 17 East 8th Street, Lawrence, KS

We'll have 2-for-1 Beachtini's, our popular Skittle infused vodka drinks, along with some snacks. Stop by for a drink, bring some friends and meet new people.

RSVP on the Facebook event or on the Mashable meetup.

Free Sandbar Music with Foursquare!

Last month, we announced our jukebox specials on Whrrl, a location based social networking site. We don't know if anyone's actually redeemed jukebox credits on Whrrl, because they don't have any type of analytics available. And, unfortunately, not very many people use the service.

However, we've got some more exciting news!

Our request to add a special on Foursquare was finally approved! Foursquare is one of the largest location based social networking sites, and it's definitely the one that has the most activity in Lawrence. For those of you who aren't familiar with Foursquare, it basically allows you to "check in" when you go somewhere. Your friends- or the world- can see where you are, you can earn virtual badges, and sometimes you can even get free stuff.

And now you can get free stuff at the Sandbar. No, not alcohol, because that's illegal. But the next best thing to drinks at the Sandbar is music at the Sandbar, and now you can get some for free.

Picture 4 

Every third time you check in at The Sandbar between 5-9 p.m., you earn five free jukebox credits. When the special offer pops up after you check in, just show your phone to the bartender and they'll add the credits to the jukebox for you.

The special is currently only valid at the Sandbar in Lawrence.

If you're on Foursquare already, you can find our page here. Stop in sometime and make sure to check in!

Social Media and Business at The Sandbar

If you subscribe to the Lawrence Journal-World, or read it online, you might have seen this little article about businesses and social media. It was actually on the front page of the print edition on Sunday!

The reporter called me last week and asked a bunch of questions about what we do and how we do it, with regard to social media. I thought I'd share some of that information here, since news articles always get cut short due to space.

We've had a website for lots of years, along with our famous webcam. Lots of funny stuff happens at The Sandbar, and we started joking about how someday we should write a book. I started learning and hearing about blogs, and eventually decided that if we were serious about a future book, it would be much easier to start small.

This blog was born in September, 2006. As of right now, there are 820 posts- a few are saved drafts, but most of those are published. That's a lot of stories. I don't know if they'll ever be compiled into an actual book, but they'll live on for eternity right here.

When I researched where to set up the blog, lots of people recommended MySpace. Remember, it was the hot thing at the time. I didn't want the blog to be on a site where people had to be members in order to read it, but I decided it would be fun to have a Sandbar MySpace page. We don't do much with that page these days- sorry to those of you who still play there.

We're also big fans of videos. Our indoor hurricane began in 2002, and we've uploaded videos to YouTube for several years. Most of our videos were uploaded to my personal account (since I didn't know any better at the time), but now we also have an official Sandbar YouTube channel

Once I got a little bored with MySpace, Facebook started to hit my radar and I decided to set up a Sandbar page. Only I did it wrong. I didn't have a personal Facebook account at the time and had no idea how it worked, so I ended up creating a profile that people "friended." This is actually against Facebook's Terms of Service, as businesses should have fan pages, not profiles, and people should become fans, not friends. I figured that out, recreated a Sandbar fan page, and here we are. 

Then, Twitter. We joined this micro-blogging site a little over a year ago. It's a nice compliment to the other social media efforts we've made, and Twitter has allowed us to reach out to new people and the community in ways that Facebook or MySpace don't. You can follow us here

That's a little bit about how our business started down the path of social media. It's been fun to learn and we hope our fans enjoy our efforts!