where’s waldo? now you can know!

I’ve been playing with new social networking site, Brightkite.  At first, I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, but now I find it as addicting as Twitter.  It’s really neat.

One of the more interesting things that I heard years ago was that applications would be “location aware” of where you were.  The context of these applications were more centered around phones and IM clients.   Brightkite takes it beyond this level, and I find it pretty enlightening.    Sure, if you use Pidgin or other IM clients, you can have different “resources” identified as “Home” or “Work.”  Brightkite allows you to update wherever you are either by the web or by SMS.   If you can send emails from your phone, you can email pictures of whatever is interesting at the location you “checked in” at.

Today I “checked in” at my barber and I got a message from a friend that said, “Hey, you’re in my ‘hood!”  How cool.  Think about this in larger terms if more people were on board with this.  I could “check in” and if my online or social friends are nearby, they can announce it, and who knows?  Maybe we can meet for coffee.

Imagine how this service could help Realtors or other professionals that travel around a limited area.    Imagine how cool this would be if people could have GPS units that could somehow update locations?   Imagine if you could update via Bluetooth?

This is a different kind of service and it might take some getting used to.   But I like it and I’ll use it.  If you are on Brightkite, please feel free to make me a friend and if you are Twitter, feel free to follow me; if you aren’t a ‘bot or something, chances are I’ll follow you back.

more than six degrees

I was trying to find new folks to follow on Twitter and Facebook tonight.  I have an RSS feed for tweets for people in my zipcode, but it is often hard to know people based on username verses their real or known names.

Our subdivision has a web-based forum and tonight I posted a question asking how many of the residents were on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.  I’ll be curious to see the response… if any.

I’m sometimes surprised of the “online persona” I’ve gotten to know verses the real person.  Since we have kids and our neighborhood has a community park, we meet a lot of other parents.  I am really curious how much of an online presence other people have, and who do they think is important or who do they follow.  It’s an interesting experiment in social networking.

I’ll follow up with notes from my ‘hood forum post.