It’s Real Simple, Stupid

Also featured on Emerson Social Media.

I’m an avid fan of geo-location apps and services like foursquare, SCVNGR, gowalla and more. However, there is a newcomer to the game, Shaloc. It is the easiest GPS sharing application humanly possible. The application automatically updates in the background and shares your location with your friends at any given moment. So rather than checking in to a specific venue or calling friends to get their ETA, you can find out in a snap exactly where someone is. In fact, I got a chance to interview the creator of the app, Rakshith¬†Krishnappa via e-mail.

How did you get the idea for Shaloc?– Me and my friends meet downtown on weekends, we usually end up arriving at different times, and ended up calling each other to let each other know where they were, so I wondered if there was a way to make this easy by using mobile phone GPS and share with each other. Then came up with the idea for mobile app to share location and make it so that others can see location without requiring an app.

What is different about Shaloc from the other geo-location apps out there right now?– Shaloc is real-time location sharing, if you move 2 steps your friend will see you move 2 steps, other location apps update every 15 seconds or a minute. Shaloc is more for sharing your GPS virtually. Shaloc does not require the other person to have a app downloaded to view your location, and browser will work for viewing.

How has the response been since the launch of the application?– People have been using it many creative ways, to share location with family, kids are sharing with parents when they take the car out, and parents are able to see where they are using their computer. I heard about a new york pizza delivery company shared location to a customer. Some people are worried about privacy. App is downloaded based on word of mouth, people like the face that the location sharing can be viewed without the need for an app on the other end. Developers are asking for API to be released so that can can develop apps using real-time location data.

It’s clear that geo-location is a huge trend in social media right now. Where do you see this trend going in the future?– I see real-time location be a part of day to day life, soon you will be able to track where your UPS/Fedex truck is, where your mail man is, you will be able to share your location to 911 in case of emergency, your pizza delivery guy will be sharing location when you order pizza, you will be able to track where the subway or bus is, taxi… I think other static geo-location apps like foursquare and gowalla, will focus more on local deals and providing value to users rather than just badges.

Having the opportunity to interview Rakshith was great. I am always amazed by the power of social media and the type of people you can interact with. I tweeted about Shaloc in regards to an upcoming presentation for class. I got a response in a timely fashion and he was very open to talking with me and answering any questions I had.

The bottom line is that Shaloc is a great idea for an app. It strips down geo-location to the basics, which a lot of people can appreciate in today’s complicated world.

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