As we saw in our Mass Mingling briefing, despite ever-increasing amounts of time spent online, audiences aren’t retreating into virtual worlds. Au contraire, CITYSUMERS will forever enjoy connecting with other, real-life human beings, and embrace the choice, the excitement, the frenetic pace, the spontaneity, the chaotic vibrancy offered by urban life. In fact, ‘online’ (especially with smart phones being the new laptops) increasingly drives and enables offline encounters:
- Geomium is an iPhone app launched in September 2010 in London that informs the user of where their friends are, what events are on in their area, as well as helping them discover local bars, restaurants and places of interest.
- Foursquare competitor Gowalla decided to curate their content for select cities via City Pages. These pages provide a display of popular places, what’s “hot now,” highlights from a variety of venue categories (e.g. best burgers, best coffee), and even coordinated trips throughout these urban areas.
- German company Locamap GmbH provides gay men with a guide to cities across Germany, Austria, USA and the UK.
- In May 2010, Yahoo! bought Indonesian social networking service Koprol that allows users to connect based on location. Mobile users can post a 200 character status message and use the site as a positioning service, without the need for a GPS receiver. Once logged in, users can see other members who are in the same location.
- US based Ratio Finder, launched in mid 2010, uses Foursquare’s API to show a heatmap with blue and pink bubbles, the size and color intensity of which displays the sex ratio of the check-ins at various restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.