Offline Location — Any Good Solutions?

I have been traveling a lot for work. Every time I show up in a new town or at a conference, I invariably bump into people who I had no idea would be in town. These folks are my friends – had I know that they would be in town, I would have made plans to see them. How come there isn’t (to my knowledge) any coarse solution where people can make their location known to friends or business associates? I use the event widget on my blog to let people know where I will be, but that’s a relatively passive way of publishing this information.

Just to be clear, I am not looking for a super accurate solution that can tell me that I am on the corner of X street and Y avenue and that I have a buddy around the corner. I am looking for something much more coarse, like “you and your friend are both in New York today.”

I am surprised that there hasn’t been more work in this space. If you know of a good solution, let me know. Ironically, the best solution today appears to be simply changing one’s IM status message to clue folks in as to your current location. That’s not so useful for the pre-IM generation.

  • David Sachs

    This used to be one of the ideas behind PlanetAll. In theory, if you sync’d your calendar to LinkedIn/Plaxo, that would potentially accomplish the “who do I know who’s where” aspect.

    This tends to happen a lot around conferences. There are social networking companies specifically targeting conference attendees, enabling meetings among folks who are all headed to the same conference. The challenge, of course, is that this only works to meet people in the same industry, and one ends up inputting friends lists all over the place.

    A feature for LinkedIn might be nice, especially if it were automatically updated with high-level location data (on the order of MSAs) from your cell phone (ie, Charles is in NY, NY right now) to be shared with select people.

  • David Sachs

    This used to be one of the ideas behind PlanetAll. In theory, if you sync’d your calendar to LinkedIn/Plaxo, that would potentially accomplish the “who do I know who’s where” aspect. This tends to happen a lot around conferences. There are social networking companies specifically targeting conference attendees, enabling meetings among folks who are all headed to the same conference. The challenge, of course, is that this only works to meet people in the same industry, and one ends up inputting friends lists all over the place. A feature for LinkedIn might be nice, especially if it were automatically updated with high-level location data (on the order of MSAs) from your cell phone (ie, Charles is in NY, NY right now) to be shared with select people.

  • I’ve been wanting the same thing for a while. It seems like something pretty simple for LinkedIn to offer, but then I wonder how many escorts you’d find looking for introductions…

  • Rand Wacker

    I’ve been wanting the same thing for a while. It seems like something pretty simple for LinkedIn to offer, but then I wonder how many escorts you’d find looking for introductions…