Should Stay in Beta

by francine Hardaway on May 19, 2010

The existence of was only  a rumor at this year’s SXSW. We were all running around checking in to places with three or four different services, and as a result I never looked anyone in the eye the entire time I was in Austin.

It would have been my dream to have an app that checked me in to three  services at once. And  now that  I have one, I can tell you what’s wrong with it:-)

First of all, it’s slow. V…e…r…..y slow. I could check in manually on Gowalla, Brightkite and Foursquare before finishes its magical place matching.

Second, it doesn’t give you the opportunity to post photos. Neither does Foursquare, but I loved doing that on Brightkite. And since I’m off to China, Korea and Singapore on Friday, wouldn’t you like to know where I’ve been and what it looks like? also doesn’t give you an opportunity to choose whether you want to share to Twitter or Facebook, neither or both.

It doesn’t tell  you which friends are at a given place, either. Have you ever looked up from your laptop and thought to yourself, “where is everbody?” The underlying services will help you find your friends if you are looking for something to do, but won’t do that research for you.

It’s also no fun. It’s just a utilitarian app.  No badges, leaderboards, or things to put in your pack. Of course I don’t care about those, but many people like the gaming aspects of location-based services. [I take it back. I’ve been known to fight over the mayorship of Houston’s or New Leaf with friends].

But the weakest part of is something that’s not at all’s fault: the underlying databases are all different. Some are user-entered, or power-user edited. Some are not. Therefore, the same location may have different names, or a location will be in one service and not the other.

All this can be corrected, because is in beta. But I thought since the pros like RWW’s Sarah Perez were weighing in, I’d offer my own opinion.

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