The IWMW events provide an opportunity for the evaluation of new technologies and this year’s event is no exception, allowing delegates to gain experiences of various aspects of the mobile Web.
We will be providing an opportunity for delegates to familiarise themselves with location-based sharing services such as FourSquare and Gowalla. I will visit the main locations we will be using at Sheffield just before the event begins and geo-locate the main auditorium, the registration areas, the rooms used for the parallel sessions, the accommodation and some of the social venues – an idea I have described previously in a post on Social Location Sharing Services.
If you have installed a FourSquare or Gowalla application on your mobile device (e.g. iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Phone, etc.) and obtained an account, when checking in you should see details of other people who have also checked in. If, for example, you have arrived early and have decided to visit The Fat Cat pub (well worth a visit) potentially you could see other IWMW 2010 delegates who, may be already there (details about the pub are available on FourSquare).
Of course there are lots of issues about privacy, personal safety, security, etc. But having a few days away at a friendly event can provide an ideal opportunity to evaluate such technologies. If you wish to use this opportunity feel free to get in touch with me, either on FourSquare or Gowalla.
Note that a particular location-based sharing service is not being recommended. I personally prefer Gowalla but I know others who prefer FourSquare. I should also mention that in January Harvard University announced an official presence on FourSquare, so if you dismiss such services as trivia bear in mind the comments made by Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications and communications services for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications: “We believe that Harvard’s participation will allow our community to engage with friends, professors, and colleagues in new ways. We also hope visitors and neighbors will benefit from the platform as it grows through use”.