Monday, January 18, 2010

BlockChalk offers anonymous location-based messaging

Feldmans Market Center
Image by shainelee via Flickr
The other day, I stumbled across BlockChalk.com, a website that interacts with your mobile phone's GPS. Unlike Twitter, Foursquare, BrightKite, and others, BlockChalk allows you to message with others; but you do so anonymously. At first, I was not sure what to think of it. After all, what's the point of it? Of course, I had the same reaction to Twitter.



The gist of BlockChalk is that it allows you to see messages from other people based on location. So, you may see messages from the guy next to you, from somebody a block away, or maybe a few blocks away. You don't know. The messages change according to your location. Most interestingly, the "chalk marks" are anonymous; which allows people to share what they really think rather than be guarded.

I think that all basic messages get posted to your neighborhood. You can add an exact GPS location by putting [here] in your post. This way, if somebody is near the location, they will see that message. It could be your opinion of a restaurant, your notes about a landmark, or announcing a special offer or event at your shop. Just because the message posts anonymously doesn't mean you cannot identify yourself in some way.

The service is described as being like a lamp post papered with flyers where you can see somebody is searching for a lost dog, having a yard sale, announcing a concert, and all manner of information. In addition, you have the ability to reply anonymously to somebody's chalk.

What really sets BlockChalk apart is the anonymity. There is no need to let people know who you are. You never have to log in.


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