Dennis Crowley is making a successor to Dodgeball called Foursquare. It’s an iPhone app that treats nightlife like a video game.
Users rack up points based on how many new places they visit, how many stops they’ve made in one night and who else has been there. You become a “mayor” of a hot spot if you’re there often. […] “People get kind of competitve about this.” There’s a “Leaderboard” which lists the most adventurous users with the most points.
Regarding the recent Google news (YouTube, DoubleClick, Dodgeball), Fred Wilson tells us it’s time to pour a little malt liquor on the ground and say goodbye to the old Google, the Google that we all know and love, and welcome the new Google, a big company, for better or worse. “Google’s lawyers are going to become their most important asset and when lawyers are more important than engineers to a company, you lose.”
Dodgeball founders leave Google and that leaves Dodgeball probably dead. Then why did Google buy Dodgeball exactly? Not for the founders…they left. Not for the tech. To build it up into a profitable company? (Nope, they didn’t put any resources into it.) To kill it before some other company (Yahoo, Microsoft) got their mitts on it? For the PR value? Why did they even bother?
Update: Official thumbs-down announcement here. “It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us - especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space. And while it was a tough decision (and really disappointing) to walk away from dodgeball, I’m actually looking forward to getting to work on other projects again.”
Steven Johnson reports on Dodgeball for Discover magazine and proceeds to riff on cities, Jane Jacobs, and the Long Tail. When considering the effects of the Long Tail, there’s a different between being able to d/l music by an obscure band when you live in a rural area and having the opportunity of seeing that band in person with other likeminded folks. (via dens)