A new social app helps visitors with city slicking and trouble-avoidance
Whether caused by summer boredom, socio-economic frustration, space storms, or opportunistic, follow-the-gang-leader greed, British looters turned parts of several major cities into hellish, post-apocalyptic places between 6 and 9, August.
Liaising and peer-pressuring through social networks and BlackBerry Messenger ensured the mob remained several steps ahead of authorities. City residents and visitors also took en masse to networks such as Twitter to find out how to keep safely away from those engaged in what some in the media have termed “violent shopping”.
Perhaps they should have used Banjo.
Days earlier I’d interviewed Damien Patton, founder of the six-week-old app which forms a convergent layer atop one’s various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, TwitPic and Instagram).
Patton’s canny creation, which he describes as, “a federation of all the location and social and mobile applications – so people can make sense out of all the noise,” allows users to keep up with what people are saying about current events, search and save locations to quickly return to and communicate with users who are actually in an area.
Avoid like the plague
During the recent rioting, I checked back in with Patton to ask how people could use the service to help keep out of dodge.