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The (prison) state of social

·385 words·2 mins

Sitting in Starbucks, where I seldom go, and reflecting on my nearly ended "night on the town". With many activities going on today, I ended up in Downtown Atlanta all alone with 3 hours to burn. First stop – Foursquare – where I did find people congregating on few fun activities. Alas, numbers were ridiculously small – versus what seemed a Car-and-Human apocalypse happening around me. We are probably under 1 in 100,000 checking-in on Foursquare. Are they checking-in on Facebook? Perhaps Google+, which has rather refreshing public posts with location feature. Nope, seems like not even via Yelp.
Two conclusions – we need a better way of sharing "hotspot" information. While we all value our privacy – I think there is a way to keep that and yet share major "outings".
But here is even bigger kicker – information segregation is a killer right now. Sure Foodspotting will tell you they have API, and they managed to hook up with ScoutMob even now. Heck, but it is yet another App and hence Silo in a way, locking in my photo of wonderful Frappe there. This will only continue to grow, as barrier to entry becomes smaller and smaller.
Facebook is leading the pack with the most users right now – yet their Check-in features are rather pathetic. Worse yet, most users don’t know about them at all.
I think we need to scrap our check-in approach and instead replace with:

  • No action required to check-in. Yes, I hear all the privacy screams – there are solutions. Pre-approvals, coupled with anonymity until specific friend requests to see ‘more info’.
  • Data must not be in a silo – that makes it useless! I would prefer if it could auto-flow into single place or at least be public.

I realize these sound like ramblings of a mad man – but that is because it is! Time to take our social to next level, ya’ll, before society decides that whole Facebook and Foursquare fad is a gonner the way of MySpace.
I’ll be awaiting your comments on Friendster 😉

Update: I definitely should have checked Twitter – See the problem yet?

Update2: Live from Apple iPhone event – Introducing Family and Friends app, now you can tell where your family and friends are. Apple Heard Our pleas!?