Location-based Networking

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A recent article over at TechnologyReview.com discussed the growth that we will begin seeing in the "location-based" market over the next several years.

Location-based services such as Foursquare provide ways for people to interact online, seeing when people are at what location and a variety of random services depending on which app is used.

Many new developers of this technology are saying that the few services provided are not enough, however. They still feel that these social networking utilities are not social enough, and the question of "why use it?" constantly arises.

To combat this lack of features, new companies are trying new methods and combining different means of social interaction. One company is trying to create a location-based "game" of sorts that becomes highly competitive and focuses on people "conquering" each other's real-world territory.

Another company is focusing on providing its customers with the ability to spontaneously create "parties" that all friends can attend, rather than just informing others regarding the location they are at.

What does all this mean for journalists? There is a lot of potential for this new strive toward networking to make finding people or news more streamlined and easier.

Imagine being able to see "status updates" from every person within a couple of miles while you're looking for feature story ideas. If you then send out several requests to meet with those people who have newsworthy messages, your job has just become that much easier, or at least your choices have grown considerably.

At any rate, journalists will have to be on the cutting edge of this technology to ensure all the news that's worth reporting gets told.

Photo Credit: Bernard Goldbach via Creative Commons


Erin Gerken March 9, 2011 at 6:22 AM  

To be honest, I find things like foursquare creepy. I will tweet from where I'm at sometimes saying where I am, but the though of tweeting your exact location at any point in time I find incredibly unnecessary.
I can understand the appeal for journalists, though. It can help them find interviews or find where the local hotspots are. I know I personally won't be using foursquare. At least not yet.

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