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Is Location as Effective as Social Media?

SimpleGeo CEO Jay Adelson thinks so.

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Geolocation has had a tremendous impact on the way we currently live. Many consumers utilize geolocation applications on a daily basis to interact with their friends and associates. Businesses have also found value in geolocation and have used it in marketing efforts to reach their customers.

Are you finding geolocation to be useful to you or your business? Let us know how you’re utilizing it.

Foursquare and Gowalla have been largely responsible for popularizing the idea of geolocation-based services. They combine many elements of other social networks such as the real-time functions of Twitter, the review aspects of sites like Yelp, and the social gaming of many networks, but they add location into the mix, which creates a completely new and exciting space.

Although location-based services are still in the early stages, they appear to be having an influence that is similar to the one that social media has had. According to Jay Adelson, the CEO of SimpleGeo and former CEO of Digg, there have been very few trends that have had relevance across multiple platforms and industries. He believes that social media falls into this select few, as well as location.

“Many of us believed for a long time, even throughout the social media revolution, that location also was one of those topics that would really act like a layer, as social has, on top of all these different applications,” he said.

Because he believes so strongly in this idea, he began working in the location space with SimpleGeo, a company that enables developers to easily make location-aware apps. The company has released 3 products since its launch last year including SimpleGeo Context, SimpleGeo Places, and most recently, SimpleGeo Storage.

The Storage platform ties the products together in a way that supports any type of location-aware app. Through Storage, SimpleGeo offers developers a complete infrastructure solution to build location apps.

“Applying that same technology theory that was used to solve some of the social media problems of real-time data in the social Web from companies like Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, Digg, we’ve been able to take some of those lessons learned… and apply it to a geo-spatial problem,” he said.

As SimpleGeo further innovates, we will likely see more location-based apps and developments emerge and integrate into our lives. With this in mind, do you think that location has the potential to impact us in the same way that social media has?

Is Location as Effective as Social Media?
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  • Whitney pannell

    Abby, I use foursquare more for fun not business.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Abby Johnson

      A lot of other people do too, Whitney. But, it’s interesting that Foursquare and other location-based companies are rolling out more opportunities to utilize their services.

    • http://www.virtual-sidekick.com Ina Stanley

      @Whitney, why only for fun? From our point of view, almost any business can benefit from using Foursquare. Just think about the places you check in at. They’re benefiting while you’re having fun. That could be your business as well if you have one!

  • http://www.virtual-sidekick.com Ina Stanley

    I absolutely think Geolocation will impact us much as social media has, and in fact potentially more. Social media took communication and interaction on the Web to a whole new level, but geolocation goes beyond this to really and truly connect people – because it’s based on the local area. That means that users involved in social media now have a reason to step out from behind those LCD screens and continue the conversation & interaction they started on social networks. It makes the interaction & conversation more real than it ever has been.

    In the past few years I’ve seen the struggles that brick & mortar businesses have gone through trying to find where and how they fit on the Web. Many I know of haven’t even made the jump because they’re just now sure how – their services and products don’t necessarily work for ecommerce, or there are too many legal & compliance hoops to jump through to really get involved in social media. For these businesses, geolocation has become their social media and has given them an easier way to fit on the Web. It’s taken down the barrier that caused so much confusion and intimidation and created a bridge for brick & mortar businesses to cross as often as they want. Not to mention, you have more businesses gaining more exposure and generating more interest and sales than they ever would have without the ability to go viral on a local level. Just think about the travel agencies, spas, dentists & more that have found out how to sell more of their packages & services online through sites like LivingSocial & Crowdcut (which offer deals based on location)? What other way could these kinds of businesses have found to sell online on a mass level?

    And let’s not forget how customers win. With geolocation becoming more popular, we as customers can find awesome deals on anything and everything – even stuff we might not have thought we could get at a good price! We get to save some money while being exposed to helpful (and fun) products & services and we get to see recommendations from actual friends who’ve tried said products & services – and at the same time we’re helping to stimulate our local economies in a HUGE way! I know we now eat at more local restaurants, see more local shows and get more local services simply because we can get unique discounts. I’m sure it’s the same across the world, and I’m sure the discounts they give through geolocation services & apps do more good to the businesses offering them than harm. We all win…that right there creates a HUGE impact!

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