WordPress is one of the biggest blogging platforms on the planet with over 7.5 million bloggers using their hosted service. Recently, they rolled out geo-tagging, which allows you to label your blog and blog posts by location, with the promise of new features coming soon.
The ability to search by area as well as “showing the location of your commenters, the location of poll votes, a live map view of blog updates on WordPress.com, or an annual report showing you where your posts were written and where your comments came from” will gradually be implemented and highlight the growing importance of location in the digital age.
New services such as Foursquare use it as the basis of their platform; Dopplr has long been using location to connect people; Augmented Reality will allow us to localise our data in real-time according to where we are and what we’re looking at.
Location has never been so important, and this is becoming more and more evident. Twitter have been discussing the integration of location for a while, and what with it being the current media darling, the importance of this is greater than we perhaps realise.
Location based content facilitates the development of micro-communities, connected only by their proximity to each other. This is the opposite of how groups have developed on the Internet, usually by interest, with a disregard to geographical borders.
What this enables us to do is essentially go back to our pre-Internet roots. People gathered in communities according to where they lived and were active within them to whatever degree they felt comfortable. Until the development of geo-tagging, we were unable to do this as easily online — we could not simply walk out of our virtual front door and to the community focal point, be it the church, pub or town hall equivalent.
Now we can start to develop sophisticated location based games, imagine playing an augmented reality game of pass the virtual parcel around your local high street for example. We can more effectively form local blogging groups to share ideas, content and stories, based on where we live. For brands it will allow the better provision of services and better targeting of relevant content to those people that will get most value out of it. The consumer wins out.
I believe that the ability to search, categorise and evolve by location is a suitably vital technological shuffle forward in the way that we interact and behave online. What I’m most looking forward to is the new ways that it will be integrated into the next generation of online services, gadgets and media.
What do you think of the increasing use of location based technology, and what do you hope to see from it in the future?
Zath: This was a guest post from geetarchurchy, if you liked what he had to say, be sure to check out more of his great writing over at his blog; The Seldom Seen Kid.
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