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Drop Spots Has Big Plans

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Google’s Drop Spots has much grander plans for their online gift sharing community as I was told in an exclusive interview by the creators of the site.

Earlier in the week I did some research and wrote an article on a new Google site called Drop Spots, which is an online gift sharing community. The more I read about it, the more fascinated I became with the fact that in an age of anonymity, strangers wanted commit random acts of kindness.

For those who don’t know, Drop Spots is an online gift sharing project that is featured on Google maps. The map has spots in spots in different cities across the country marked where a user of the site has placed a gift for another use to find. There is no catch here; just a scavenger hunt and gift exchange of any present you so choose.

So what made the creators of this community want to undertake a project in a time when it seems that no one knows or care about his or her neighbors? When I inquired to the creator Ed Purver, he responded that, “early on we decided we’d like to make a project that encouraged acts of generosity, and we knew that we wanted to use the web as a facilitator, but have the actual interaction be with physical places and with real objects.”

The first actual Drop Spots were started in New York, when the creators asked friends for participation in a trial run of their concept to see if it would catch on. It did in fact catch on and so the creators started the actual website using Google maps. Now there are Drop Spots in hundreds of cities across the country, and the number can only increase because anyone can create spots in their city.

Now that the site has gained a following, the creators of have upgraded the website and made a, “more accessible version of geo-caching, one that makes it as easy as possible to find things, and that doesn’t require people to buy a GPS device.”

The changes to the site will not end there, say the creators. “We’re talking about incorporating Google Earth into the site as well as Google Maps. But it’s a community-driven project, so the site’s development will be driven by user feedback.” Google Earth would show aerial photos of the general area in which the Drop Spot is located, and would give participants a sense of where exactly to look for their gift.

One of the only complaints that the creators have had to face is the fact that some of the Drop Spots are not real or is empty when someone arrives. To address this issue they will, “add functionality for people to report spots that are not real.”

But what I really wanted to know was what gift Ed Purver, on of the creators, had found that really intrigued him. “Someone recently left me a color slide, that was made in 1969, and I’ve become fascinated with this picture.”

“The possibilities for social transformation on a personal and community level are quite exciting”, says Brijetta Hall, another creator. I could not have put it any better myself.

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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.

Drop Spots Has Big Plans
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