March 11th, 2012

Location, Location, Location #SXSWi

I know this is not the first time I have used that headline on this blog. But location doesn’t seem to be diminishing in importance when it comes to mobile technologies, social sharing and finding cool stuff.

The trend in location is discovery. Discovering places, discovering people and discovering other stuff like deals, information and suggestions from your networks.

Yesterday at SXSW, we heard Dennis Crowley talk about the future of Foursquare. The service is going to continue evolving for its users, reading into the context of users’ activities to make recommendations for places to “explore.”

Today, we heard from keynote speaker Amber Case (founder of Geoloqi) as she talked about ambient location (location services always running in the background of your smart phone) and the the ways we can use it to learn more about our surroundings. And influence our surroundings (i.e., your house lights automatically come on when you–and your phone–get within a specified distance of your house).

Then here in Austin, we are surrounded by new ambient location apps that promise to connect us to new people who are in our near vicinity, provided we have something in common (friends, followers, mutual friends). These apps–like Highlight and Banjo–notify you when people are close. (Not going to lie: this creeps me out a little bit so far.)

It remains to be seen which of these apps will survive and the users will decide how the can best be used. But regardless, it is fair to say that location services are not going away and are only gaining in importance. Consumers are obviously looking for was to discover new places, people and experiences. They are asking for the information. For marketers, this is great news. It is simply a matter of being active in those spaces and sharing the information in the ways the consumers want to digest it.

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