Unraveling Social Media One Tool at a Time
If I ever find the time to write another play, its main character will be a digital stalker, and he will probably be a Ban.jo user. Ban.jo was the topic of this week’s mini Social Media tool workshop I held at the San Jose Mercury News newsroom. Log on the Ban.jo, and you will find a map of up to 16 people who are online within a two-mile radius of where you are now. Or, you can type in any location, and find folks. I immediately typed in ‘Las Vegas’ and jealously saw a whole bunch of people having more fun than I was at work. This is a great tool if you are a reporter trying to cover a shooting or fire from afar. Or, perhaps there is a problem at the airport and you want to reach the passengers behind the security gates? Just click on their photo on the map, hit the arrow on the righthand side, and boom, you are chatting with them in real time. The downside is that the only people displayed are those who use apps such as Foursquare or Gowalla to check in or enable their geolocation on Twitter That is still a small percentage of users in the U.S. (Foursquare: 5 percent), but hey, it’s a start. I expect it to grow, and to provide me more fodder for my screenplay.