Placestreaming

The guys at Brightkite came up with the idea of capturing user-generated content and associating it to a particular place where the user is located. Quoting their blog post:

Placestreaming, as in the stream of content originating from a specific place. We think this really captures what Brightkite is all about. We enable location based conversations. And location based conversations, in aggregate, are placestreams.

Brightkite logo

You’ll be able to stream about a certain place when you’re there or even when you get home. What’s more interesting though is the ability to actually receive information about a place when you’re in that location:

When other people are in that place, they can read what people have streamed from that location – this is when it gets fun. People begin to communicate in a new way, (…)

This idea followed similar concepts coined at the time as lifestreaming and eventstreaming. Lifestreaming is all about telling other people what you are doing right now. It emerged with the popularization of blogs and, more recently, with the launch of services like twitter and more recently Pownce. According to Wired Magazine 15.07 article “Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense“:

But the true value of Twitter — and the similarly mundane Dodgeball, a tool for reporting your real-time location to friends — is cumulative. The power is in the surprising effects that come from receiving thousands of pings from your posse. And this, as it turns out, suggests where the Web is heading.

Eventstreaming was coined by TechCrunch‘s Duncan Riley at the iPhone Day. He noticed how people were streaming live content directly from the event, bypassing the need to wait for blog or mainstream media coverage. Quoting his story:

Eventstreaming is the missing link in Web 2.0’s challenge to network television.Who could ever forget the coverage of the London Bombings in 2005 where user generated video featured as a main source of footage. Two years later and the technology has continued to improve; the step from recording footage of an event to streaming it live over the internet has been made.

What else is going on around these topics? Groundspeak, the company behind Geocaching.com has been developing a new way to mark places on the planet, so that other people might be able to find them later:

Waymarking is a way to mark unique locations on the planet and give them a voice. While GPS technology allows us to pinpoint any location on the planet, mark the location, and share it with others, Waymarking is the toolset for categorizing and adding unique information for that location. Groundspeak’s slogan is “The Language of Location” and our goal is to give people the tools to help others share and discover unique and interesting locations on the planet. We invite you to share your part of the world with us through Waymarking.com.

There’s also another concept called Ad loc, a “system for mobile devices to collaboratively tie persistent virtual notes to physical locations”, according to Derek J. Corbett and Daniel Cutting, the authors of the Ad loc paper. Quoting the paper:

Notes that are relevant to particular locations can be created and then cached using serendipitously formed one-hop wireless ad hoc network connections. The location provides an address to which the information is relevant and devices attempt to keep the information stored at devices which remain close to this address.

It seems that there’s a lot going on around this topic, after all. Is this the next big thing? Is this the next Web revolution?

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