Plazes is a social website using a software called Plazer to automatically set your geographic position. Since some time now users can also add a Twitter-like status message. The idea behind it is to track the places and activities of friends and to explore people near you using Plazes.
I have been using Plazes for some years now. At the beginning I liked the idea to have a timeline of places where I have been. From time to time I had a look at the website to see who was around my current position. What has been anoying from the beginning was the website being always painful slow.
Last year I saw an interesting aspect of Plazes in combination with blogs or services like Twitter, Last.fm, del.icio.us or others. Especially when lifestreams showed up, like the ones by Jeremy Keith, Jeff Croft or Manuela Hoffmann, I saw the potential of Plazes to add a geographic dimension to a timeline.
Last year the Plazes web site was redesigned and became a lot faster. New functions were added like actifity (status message). Placing yourself somewhere became more like a point of time instead of having a duration. So Plazes is now a Twitter-like service that adds geographic position. Before Plazes included geotagged photos from Flickr, now photos of places have to be uploaded directly to the Plazes web site.
I don’t doubt that Plazes may be useful for some people. But it is not the tool I was hoping it to be, that helps me connecting my activities on the web with my geographical location by importing data from services like Flickr, Last.fm, Twitter, Pownce, Vimeo, YouTube, Bblogs and others. That would mean the content could not only be in a timeline, but could also be listed by location.
I think lifestreams miss the geographic component. But maybe the Plazes API can be useful to implement something like this, or Yahoo!’s Fire Eagle or Google‘s My Location or some other service will show up.