The hot thing at SXSW is location-based anything. (I’m so cool, I don’t even need to be there to know this.) But I’ll bet every single geek pushing a location-based app at SXSW is missing the point. You should sign up for location-based social media. So cool people can avoid you.
Here’s the deal – there are some people I’d rather not see. (Oh come on, don’t get all judgy. Like you’re happy to see every single person, every time you see them? Yeah, right). Some people always ask you for money. Maybe they repeat the word “dude” too often (that’s really annoying). Or they’re smelly. Or don’t wear shoes (I have this thing with shoes. Blame flylady.). Perhaps there was a drunken evening in a toilet stall you’d rather not be reminded of (don’t look at me, but if you’re blushing right now, well there you go).
These are people who you cross the street to avoid.
Social media today gives everyone the ability to only ever run into people you like, and avoid all the weirdos. Yes, even if you’re at (Woodstock for geeks*) SXSW.
Location-based social media is the gift that rewards everyone. You can see where the people who will negatively effect your groove are at all times, and avoid them. And people who actually like those dodgy losers can find them.
It’s a win-win.
Real-world example right here
Over a year ago, I requested all mountain lions around the Boulder area get on Brightkite. It was a reasonable request. I just wanted to know where they were so they wouldn’t eat my kids, Brightkite is a local startup (ie, the mountain lions need to support local industry), and it would allow us all to avoid an awkward confrontation.
Well, none of the mountain lions took me up on it. Maybe they don’t follow me on Twitter. Anyway, I found it very disappointing. It was all about mutual respect. Live and let live. You lions do your thing and we’ll do ours, and if you let us know by checking in at North Boulder, maybe even with a cute pic of you with your cubs, then we’ll be aware you’re about to eat our terriers. Or kids.
But no, they didn’t do it. And so we had a spring and summer where little dogs were chewed, and the owners had no idea. That’s just disrespectful when Brightkite was right there, all free and stuff.
So the big takeaway is to get into location-based social media. It means I can avoid seeing you. Then everyone’s happy.
*This (apt) description of SXSW was originally coined by @nsquared but I pushed him for it. He’s a nice guy. Don’t go hatin’.