Tag - geolocation

Highlight: Must must MUST enable Twitter

We are never going to run out of apps to find and connect with new people. They’re a dollar a dozen right now.

But one that’s getting quite a bit of attention is Highlight. Scoble has highlighted it (haha) as the connect with people around you app to beat at SXSW.

The app is cool, well-conceived, and narrowly focused. And it’s got great buzz. But, but, but.

Only Facebook
You can only connect to Highlight via Facebook. Highlight uses your Facebook info and friends to try to understand you, see who your friends are, and make educated guesses about people who are nearby that you might like to know or meet. IMHO, only using Facebook is a serious limitation.

A lot of people (and I’m one of them) use Facebook for actual – in other words, IRL – friends and family. It is, after all, your friend graph.

What about Twitter?
Twitter is a little different. For many of us (maybe most of us) Twitter is mostly for people that we have NOT met in real life … but find interesting nevertheless. Twitter is the interest graph.

Combining the two
Adding Twitter would create a much more powerful serendipity component to Highlight. Now not only would it find friends, and friends of friends, but also people that maybe you don’t know, but would find interesting and rewarding to meet, if you happen to be physically proximate to them.

This could be creepy for some – location-based social apps tend to have that tinge – but which social networks you link up would be totally optional … and who you meet is also totally optional.

Coming soon?
I’m sure it’s coming at some point, maybe even soon. I just wish it was there from the start.

. . .
. . .

BTW, Highlight’s logo breaks my brain:

This is big -> Introducing Google Places

From the official Google blog:

We launched Place Pages last September for more than 50 million places around the world to help people make more informed decisions about where to go, from restaurants and hotels to dry cleaners and bike shops, as well as non-business places like museums, schools and parks. Place Pages connect people to information from the best sources across the web, displaying photos, reviews and essential facts, as well as real-time updates and offers from business owners.

Four million businesses have already claimed their Place Page on Google through the Local Business Center, which enables them to verify and supplement their business information to include hours of operation, photos, videos, coupons, product offerings and more. It also lets them communicate with customers and get insights that help them make smart business decisions.

This is a major challenge to Yelp and other local search companies. Follow the link to get the full list of new features, including new advertising options, QR codes for instant mapping on mobile devices, etc.

via Official Google Blog: Introducing Google Places.

Unusability: How NOT to do geolocation

Sometimes when doing business online, you want to know where your users are coming from. If you don’t do it the right way, they’ll waste little time telling you where you can go.

Zinio, a digital publications company, wants to know where you live:

zinio-unusability

But they don’t geo-locate IP addresses, which would accomplish the goal without any user intervention. Instead, they provide this “handy” layer over their webpage.

Problems:

  1. Extra action
    They force users to do something instead of geo-locating.

  2. Map not clickable
    The map is not clickable. So, most users who assume when seeing a map and a query about where they are, they can just click on their country are going to be sadly disappointed. They’ll click a couple of times. Some may leave. Some will see the drop-down menu and, swearing under their breath, use that.

  3. Map loads last
    The layer with the map loads after the rest of the entire page. Even over broadband, this means there are several seconds of inability to do anything – not fun.

How many chances to do you get to make a first impression? Yeah, I thought so too.

When you fail on your first impression, you’ve got an uphill climb for your second and subsequent interactions with potential clients. Now they already think you’re a difficult-to-work-with company.

Save the trouble and make it right from the beginning!