Saturday, June 11, 2005

plazes and location-based social networking

I came across an interesting project this morning: plazes. There's some overlap with what we've been doing with mates. I think we're going to be seeing more and more companies bringing location into social networking. What will be key, however, will be building a platform, not a suite of applications. plazes is on the right track by integrating with existing social networking sites and providing an API:

Plazes is going to want to talk to other systems and formats. With the help of our Plazes Plugin it is easy to use Plazes on your own page or blog. Plazes also allows you to link your other digital identities or instant messaging accounts to your profile. There is a lot of great software out there people are used to and we are not out there to change that fact. On the contrary, perspectively we will allow other systems to use information out of Plazes via a web API. This way, search engines or instant messenger can serve location-aware information. Already very soon we will include rss feeds so you can keep up with your favorite Plazes and the whereabouts of your friends through the launcher, your rss reader, or maybe even mobile...

That's pretty neat, though I'm not so sure about the "or maybe even mobile" part tagged onto the end as an afterthought. While we're still 2-3 years away from Joe User's mobile phone sporting integrated GPS and a high-speed always-on Internet connection, there's no doubt in my mind that's the future of location-based social networking - not another web app that asks you for your zip code and lets you showcase your location on your blog.

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