Wondering what others in the crowd are thinking, you pull out your smartphone, open up Yobongo, and begin chatting about the quarterback’s performance with those around you.
Location-based social media. Foursquare and Gowalla were just the beginning of a new onslaught of apps, all geared towards allowing people in a certain geographic location to interact. Here’s a rundown of some of the available apps and ideas on how you can put them to use:
- Yobongo (Available for iPhone and iPad):
- In Brief: You’re never alone … at least not if other Yobongo users are nearby. This app shows you other users who are in your general geographic area and allows you to chat with them. If people are using it, you know they’re interested in making connections.
- Business Angle: If you’re a freelancer, mention your work during chats. You never know when the chat includes someone who has a job requiring your expertise.
- Localmind (Available for iPhone and Android):
- In Brief: Got a question about a location or an event and want to ask someone that’s actually there? Localmind purports to get your question answered by its users or your friends on Gowalla, Facebook Places or FourSquare, as long as they’re at or near the spot.
- Business Angle: For freelancers, Localmind could also provide a networking tool, allowing you to present yourself as a local expert and gain some new contacts.
- LoKast (Available for iPhone and Android):
- In Brief: Similar to Yobongo, LoKast encourages RT chats and content sharing based upon proximity. Web links, songs, videos and photos — all are part of the “local casting” that LoKast seeks to enable. This app is also a good way to share content between Androids and iPhones.
- Business Angle: One of the chief benefits of LoKast over its rivals (at least as I see it) is the ability for stores, restaurants, events, etc., to create their own digital LoKast space for customers and attendees to interact on. This allows the business to freely share relevant specials and answer customers’ questions, thereby increasing sales and making connections with patrons.
- Sonar (Available for iPhone):
- In Brief: Culling through your FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn data, Sonar shows you who’s nearby that you know as well as those who are friends of your friends. It then allows you to message or send a tweet in their direction.
- Business Angle: Sonar allows you to connect with your professional online network with face to face meetings. It also alerts you (based on mutual friends) to others who might be worth meeting. If you attend industry events, Sonar could be the opening needed to make real life connections.
- Trazzler (Available for iPhone and online):
Business Angle: Whether you work with a local visitors’ bureau or an event venue, make sure your place is featured on the site.