As usual, some good stuff in Wired Magazine this month.
One article stood out for me in particular, which is about the rivalry between Foursquare and Gowalla. I’d heard of Foursquare but not much about Gowallla, and now see the next rise of web usage in more clarity.
Both sites are about checking in with your mates and being able to track where they are, what they are doing and whether there’s anything interesting happening nearby. Like seeing the GSM signals of all of your friends in real-time.
Sure, Google Latitude was a good start point for this stuff, but there’s now many new ways of socialising this physical and virtual network. For example, you arrive in London and know that someone had recommended the Comedy Club … but which one. There’s quite a few in London and you might not get the one that was recommended.
But it goes further as these sites link mobile, social, gaming and location. Like a Facebook with rewards. The idea is to get badges for visiting locations, and awards for achievements. So, if your peer group think McGinty’s Bar is cool, then you’ll get an award if (a) you get to McGinty’s and (b) you down a shot of whisky chaser at the rear bar. All of which can be tracked in real-time and checked by your friends through the geolocation services.
In other words, you set challenges and take challenges, and get badges on your social profile for achieving.
What really stood out in the article though, is this chart from John Battelle, who cofounded Wired US and wrote “The Search: how Google and its rivals rewrote the rules of business and transformed our culture”.
As you can see, the chart shows the five revolutions tracked through the connected network and could be reworded as:
- Buying stuff
- Finding stuff
- Building a community
- What are you doing?
- Where are you doing it?
On that basis, I think I could speculate about a few more cycles of revolution to come:
- Who are you doing it with?
- How are you doing it?
- Can I come too?
Or something like that anyways.