I’m at eTech at a panel on mobile social software applications (i.e. friendster, mobile phone, SMS, IM, etc,) so you’re reading this on our wireless, social software, Calacanis or etech blogs right now.
The first company to present, Dodgeball.com, lets you tell a group of folks where you are on you mobile phone and then lets you know what other people are doing and where they are.
They put up a matrix of companies like Vindigo, meetup, UPOC, and Flash mobs with the variables: location, social, mobile and spontaneous. So Dodgeball.com does all of them, but UPOC does three of four (not location-based) and meetup does two of four (location and social, but not mobile or spontaneous).
The cute part about Dodgeball.com is that users don’t need GPS, instead they put in what bar you’re in and then Dodgeball.com tells you other events going on around you. So, it is a hack but a good one. Of course the thing falls apart because it requires the user to say where they are as they bar hop, which users won’t do (or will be too drunk to do.)
A second project, Fiasco, is a “street game for mixed physical/digital play.” A final project is an interactive TV news service where the users can talk to the newscaster while they are reporting news (trust me, I do a lot of TV news, you wouldn’t want to talk to a lot of the “talking heads” out there.) The community feature of the application was more interesting. A bunch of people can create a video chat room where they talk to each other while the newscast is happening. Of course this was the ORB that was done at NYU’s ITP program a decade ago.
I’d rather pop in DVD and watch it with five friends online while we all comment on it. Sort of MST for my PC.
OK, off to lunch.