I love using BrightKite, I am really excited for this to reach far and wide. BrightKite is location based social networking, a problem that millions of dollars are being thrown at right now to try to solve. With the iPhone dev kit coming out, it is a race to see who can get the most active network prior to launch, with the assumption that the most active users on day 1 will persuade the market to a certain app over another.
It has just launched, so features are still coming around.
What has been done really well:
Privacy. The only articles out there about BrightKite that say they are doing a poor job are written by reviewers not really looking at use cases and actually putting it to use.
Buzz. Their importing of twitter friends has been brilliant, making it so my large network on twitter is becoming my network on twitter.
User Interface. Still a few bugs, but overall a fantastic job done.
Whole package. Want to email a picture in? Check. iPhone interface? Done. Pain free friend adding? Taken care of. They didn’t release with a slice of functionality, they launched with a compelling app.
What would help:
Interaction. Give me a way to comment on a photo or a check in.
Joinable. Jeremy Tanner was talking about this the other day. Sometimes you go to lunch and would love to have someone stop by. Sometimes you don’t want to have a drinking buddy show up to a date. There should be a ‘joinable’ button for when the checkin is an invitation.
Fun. The interactions that make your jaw drop (like when 5 BrightKite users were able to meet up at a Rockies Game, through our checkins, are far between). What can the service do to make it more fun? Can we have a scavenger hunt? Businesses offer rewards? Stickers to give people we met through BrightKite? Something?
Check Out. I check into a place, I should be able to check out.
I continue to enjoy watching the rise of BrightKite.