The evening was really interesting and it was nice to meet the three guys from the Yahoo! office in London, Uwe Tippmann, Thomas Schaller and Paul Savage. Hopefully there will be more events and presentations like this in the future. Yahoo! Search BOSS was one topic that already sparked some interest.
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 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.
Some days ago Yahoo! launched My Travel on Yahoo! Travel with an interactive map, where you can add the places you have been to and places where you will go. You can also append some notes to the cities.
I like that idea and some time ago I started a similar My Map on Google Maps with cities I have lived and cities where I have been to.
One thing I am missing when using My Maps as well as Google Maps for this purpose is the lack to ad a period of time. In my opinion it would be very useful to have the possibility to mark when I have been to these cities or when I will go there. Then not only there could be this map with the towns, but alternatively the cities could be displayed in a timeline.
The Rissington Podcast is one of the podcasts I am subscribed to. And it’s one of the podcasts that can make me feel embarrassed when Jon Hicks and John Oxton make me laugh out loud wherever I am listening to them.
Last week the redesign of the web site went online. It is a perfect example what can be done with background images and liquid design. Just go to The Rissington Podcast, resize your browser window and see yourself.