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FF Sparks (Casual)

[General] Social Networks (and my Nemesis)

Oh, in another note... I've found that most social networks annoy me. Facebook is cluttered with too many random invitations and so on. LinkedIn is nice, but entirely focused on business networking. Twitter was harder to just randomly wander and find people. MySpace is... MySpace.

More recently I stumbled across a program called Twinkle for the iPhone, which is a Twitter client that stores geoloc information with each tweet (Twitter post). You can then do 'Near Me' and see people in your physical area who are Twittering. This creates an instant ad-hoc social network based on location; while in Seattle, the 'Near Me' tab of Twinkle shows other Seattle-area Twitterers, and while I was in Vancouver over the weekend, I saw Vancouver folks.

This suddenly makes Twitter much more interesting to me. I've already stumbled across several other folks and begun chatting this way; it restores a 'local' element to the social networks, and also gives you the 'random encounter' aspect of meeting someone on the street since you can see a public timeline of just local Twitterers. This has also led to a game among some folks, Twinkle-sniping; if someone posts a picture of where they are, and you see a '0 mi.' distance marker, you can try to track them down and take a picture of them.

One of the local Twinkle users has become my self-appointed nemesis, amusingly. This began when he took a picture of the Starbucks near his work and I recognized it as the one a few blocks from me. After I mentioned this, the next day he commented 'im in ur starbucks drinkin all ur coffeez' -- and then, when being told I usually visit Peets and drink tea, remarked, 'Curses! Foiled again!'

Since then, it's become an amusing game as we foil and thwart each other periodically over Twitter. (He wins so far, by going to the JoCo concert in Seattle while I was in Vancouver. Nooo! I missed Jonathon Coulton!) And despite working about three blocks away from each other and going to many of the same places for lunch, we'd never have encountered each other without this sort of ad-hoc social network that Twinkle represents.

I'm beginning to think that despite the global-community benefits of the Internet, there's something to be said for using those tools to reconnect within your own local communities.

Anyway, just some random thoughts. :)
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There are many folk with whom I would not have connected were it not for various social and quasi-social networks... annathepiper tops the list for people in my immediate orbit that I would've never met save for LJ; banjoplayinnerd I met through the various Linux lists, but got to know better via filk... and then there's the long-distance aspect of it; you and I would never have met but for k_crow inviting us out and (unwittingly?) hooking us on the city...

I've long been a fan of putting a face to words on a screen, and haven't much minded the distance.... but not having to go so far to do so is kinda cool.

Kinda reminds me of the ketai-based social quasi-networking amongst Japanese youth... moving about Tokyo or other cities frantically texting each other and converging to a rendezvous whose geography is constantly in motion...

It is fun. And here, too, is mudita...
Just added Twinkle to my iPhone as well. And about 15 mins later, I'm being 'followed' on twitter by you. I returned the favor :)

Right now I'm working for a internet startup and we are creating a social mobile media platform that allows you to share media easily from your phone. We also want to add location awareness in a couple releases and a 'iFlickr' type iPhone app that tags photos & videos with location.

How's the shoulder feeling today?
Shoulder still hurts, but is doing much better, at least.

And yeah, I spotted you in the Twinkle 'near me' feed and went, 'oh, hey, there's somebody I know...' :)
Hee. Sounds like you got a guy friend a 'flirtin with ya!!
I don't think so, really; he's married and has a kid. This is just geeky silliness, and an good example of how internet tools can help you to meet interesting local folks. :)