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GeoSocial

I am finally getting my act together and jumping on the latest trend – geosocial apps.

I’ve been so busy trying to get up to speed at my new job that I’ve not been able to play with new apps as much as I like. So this weekend I set a goal to spend Saturday completely offline in St. Catharines visiting my mother-in-law for her birthday with my wife and to spend Sunday geeking out and studying these geo-social things.

You might see one of the most popular in your tweets when you see people declaring that they are now the mayor of the local coffee shop or telling you where they are. That’s usually Foursquare. Yeah, I know it’s irritating and TMI most of the time. But there is something to this stuff.

This is the beginning of a newish major trend – geo-targeting services (and ads). By choosing to tell your geo-social app where you are (or at least letting it sense where you are on the GPS grid with your smart phone) you’re opening yourself up to a multi-dimensional experience that will only grow. (Don’t worry, you can opt out too.) So here’s some of the opportunities:

1. finding friends in close proximity to where you are – serendipitously. Hey, these are apps that have the potential to increase your face to face interactions!
2. getting coupons (and ads about sales and specials) in context that match the shops you’re in or near – like Starbucks, Lord & Taylor, or whatever.
3. finding new restaurants, bookstores and coffee shops nearby.
4. being told your books you have on hold are ready when you’re in the vicinity of your library!
5. finding your local library and programming.
6. figuring out how to get through the huge ALA, SLA or SXSW/NXNW conferences.
7. finding events in your area.

Here are some of the latest apps you can play with that will help you learn more about geo-social location based searching and living . . . :

Foursquare
(Works for iPhones, Blackberries, Androids)

Gowalla
(Works for iPhones, Blackberries, Androids, Palm)

Loopt
(Works for iPhones, Blackberries, Androids – US phone numbers only)

I’ve got all Foursquare and Gowalla on my iPhone and 4Sq and, eventuallly, Loopt on my Blackberry. Friend me, I’m needy.

This, of course, does relate to the whole Geo IP trend in libraries which holds out a lot of hope to get rid of all of the barriers to accessing lbrary services (and not having to memorize the bar code of your library card….!)

These seem to be the big three and Foursquare seems in the lead in the first quarter of this relay. Expect a lot of copycats out very soon.

Also, get really worried if I join Farmville or something. I still haven’t recovered from all the sheep that were thrown at me when I joined Facebook years ago.

Stephen

Posted on: March 21, 2010, 3:18 pm Category: Uncategorized

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