Going Plazes 2.0

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One of the more intriguing social networking applications that I have been enjoying over the last year has been Plazes.com. I blogged about my initial experiences with this spatial addition to the social sphere. Plazes uses your cyberspace IP to place you in physical space. If you are at a previously defined Plaze, then you are pinpointed. If you have discovered a new place, you supply some info about the place, refine the location and it is stored for future reference. You can discover if there are other plazers in your nearby space or plazes that have been recommended and you can also get a Traze (a spatial and temporal indication of where you have been over time). You can also use your mobile phone to plaze yourself or to find nearby plazes. The system works, is a hoot to use and you can even provide a little map to your blog readers showing where you are in real time –-> see my own sidebar.

Last week, the Plazes folks opened up their final beta testing on a new version that will shortly appear. With the new version, not only can you identify your plaze to the world, you can also share information about what you are doing there– ala Twitter. Additionally you can add past plazes to your locations and indicate where you will be in the future. All of this is accomplished with little effort on your part and takes the social promise to a new level. The service is designed for arranging meet-ups, indicating wifi availability or a good restaurant amongst a circle of trust. It also feeds the current fascination with sharing your current emotions, locations, thoughts etc. with your friends and the world at large ( eg. Twitter, Facebook).

The spatial dimension fascinates me. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a real time moving map plazing your acquaintances with respect to your current plaze (this all presuming that you have friends that use Plazes). Imagine if you will a scalable map of your neighbourhood/world in which your friends are all pinpointed with a small bright object and their name or picture, all moving around like a radar display…oh the pursuit of omniscience (I guess it’s a matter of time before we all have embedded RFID ;-) I like the new Plaze and it opens up some new avenues to how I would consider benefiting from Plazes.

Hearkening to Kevin Lynch‘s mental maps of personal perception of space, the ability to use Trazes (past record of where you have been, how long you have been there and what you have been doing) to learn more about your habits and how you arrange your time and define your space. Privacy factors aside and I admit that there are many, Plazes allows for learning as much about yourself as your friends.

ps. Had to also see how effectively this little ‘compose in Word and post directly to your blog’ function actually works. Nearly flawless as it turns out…just missed the more tag that I inserted…can probably escape that out to make it work.

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