My initial way to explain BrightKite is that it’s like Twitter (what you’re doing) + Location (Where you’re doing it), which I like. I am trying to determine how to use it (mainly because I use Verizon for my phone service, and it’s currently not supported).
But, I just bumped into it’s Map Friends feature, which shows you where your friends have last “checked in” and how you could find them. (See a screenshot, below of my current friendmap)
This seems to fit well with Brightkite’s vision to enable a social network that helps facilitate real-life friendships as well as virtual ones:
Wouldn’t it be nice to have social community around the locations you frequent? To actually meet new people, not Facebook-to-Myspace, but face-to-face? MySpace has done a really good job of facilitating meaningless cyber friendships with unprecedented ease. Ironically, Facebook does not easily enable face-time with friends at all. At Brightkite we believe tangible community has a place around real-world locations.
My current beefs with the platform will surely be addressed soon:
- Since I use Verizon, I can’t “check in” via mobile messaging yet.
- There’s no Mobile Web version (that would help)… but they’re working on it.
- My brightkite check-ins are reposted to twitter, but I want it the other way around, too (similar to my facebook status updated automagically via the twitter facebook app.
- I want to comment on people’s brightkite postings (ala FriendFeed), and allow comments on mine.
But I will say overall that my favorite, clear usage for this app at the moment is that it really does help you transcend just what people are DOING, and the conversation (which twitter does so well) and mash that up with actually understanding where people ARE, and what they are doing there.
If BrightKite doesn’t work for you, maybe you need one of these kittehs, instead: