Thursday, May 01, 2008

BrightKite & More Location-Based Services

I just got hooked up with a BrightKite account, which made me happy since I love trying new things. It's kinda nice - the point is basically to share location information with others, and post notes/photos from those locations. It's almost like twitter knowing where you are.

I love that they're Colorado-based (like Lijit, which I mentioned before) - even though I'll be in the bay area forever, it's good to see an innovation hub in the place I grew up. They're one of the TechStars companies, which has born IntenseDebate and SocialThing. They've integrated well with twitter, which is great for posting location-sensitive photos and having them show up in your twitter stream.

They've also integrated well with Fire Eagle, which I mentioned liking before. Playing nicely with these guys - and any others doing location-based services - is very important. It's not clear to me whether Fire Eagle or BrightKite actually owns the master location, or what happens when I update one place and not the other.

Unfortunately, like a lot of sites launching recently, it's hard to immediately see the point. The site doesn't integrate terribly well for mobile, relying on SMS and email rather than a web app. To me, a good designed-for-mobile site is necessary for location-based services.

Location-based services like these will be absolutely killer when I don't have to tell it to update my location. Shoot, I've got GPS on my phone and the Loki toolbar on my browser - there's no excuse for these guys to force me to update my location for them. It'd be really cool to trace your path - and share it with others. And get ads based on where you go - or something.

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