OK, how many apps do we need to communicate our location with services and each other? Let’s see, these are the apps I’m currently using. You can see links to my accounts most of these things on the recently revamped Google Profiles (make sure you update yours, by the way).
1. Long in advance. Plancast, Lanyrd, Google Calendar, TripIt and Tungle.me to tell people I’m heading to SXSW on Friday (or LeWeb in Paris in December). What does that do? Let my everyone know where they can find me and how to get on my schedule.
2. Short in advance. I’m using Ditto to tell people where I’m planning on going. Say on Saturday morning I might say I’m going to the Iron Works for Lunch. What does that do? Lets people near me know where I’ll be in an hour or two, plus restaurants can start sending me offers to convince me to try them, instead of Iron Works. I also use Bizzy to see if I’m really going to the best place possible (or to find somewhere to go) and I check Foursquare and Yelp or Zagat for ideas too. Foursquare’s new recommendations are quite nice, for instance. It shows me which places are most popular with my friends and with Foursquare users overall.
3. Walking in the door. I pull out Gowalla, which checks me in on Foursquare. Or, usually, I just pull out Foursquare. That sends a few signals. First, it lets everyone know I’ve arrived, but it also makes a great history so that I can see where I visited, or use Memolane later on to see that (which just shipped this week). My wife, who is addicted to Facebook, usually checks us in on that service (she tags me so she can check us in together). Finally, other systems like Yelp also do checkins. We also might send a video to our friends on Path or Facebook and if my dinner guest is really interesting I might ask for an interview to post on CinchCast.
4. During the meal. I’ll take a picture of my guests with Instagram, which goes to the new Flipboard (on my iPad) and also Foursquare, among other places. When our meals arrive I’ll pull out Foodspotting and take a picture of each meal and tag it. I might even write a full review on Yelp or add it as an answer to a Quora question.
5. As we are leaving. I’ll “check out” with the new Bizzy and rate the restaurant, which helps other people who are looking for suggestions. I’ll also tweet, while my wife posts a Facebook status update, letting everyone know whether we enjoyed our meal.
Do you see the problem with this?
First, this is only something a douchebag geek blogger would do. Yes, I’m guilty.
Second, it’s too many apps. Many of these things could be consolidated into a single app.
Third, these systems are all silos that don’t work together.
Fourth, if you do do all these you’ll get strange looks. One lady at a meal even admonished me when Maryam was in the bathroom “why don’t you just talk with your wife?”
One thing, I’m noticing I’m not the only one staring into phone screens anymore at even fine restaurants. You all are starting to copy my bad behavior.
That’s sad, even though I’m not going to stop because these do bring me lots of utility. Heck, check out my sushi on Foodspotting, or my Memolane, where you see a history of everything I’ve done on social networks.
More bad behavior ahead!
UPDATE: Did you know there’s an app for learning table manners? Now I’ve seen everything!