Out With The Dodgeball, In With The Brightkite

While I have been a faithful Dodgeball user for over 4 years, it’s not been a service that has been taking strides to make me love it. The site exists now almost exactly as it did back then, save using Google Accounts after they were bought out in the spring of 2005. While it remains functional, it has been losing mindshare in the face of stiff competition. Yelp does reviews better; Twitter does messaging between friends better; Facebook handles connections between friends better.
The only place Dodgeball still had a hold on me is for checking in; announcing to your friends where you were.

That was until I saw this demo of the Brightkite iPhone application:


Brightkite for the iPhone from Brightkite on Vimeo.

I’ve been tangentially aware of Brightkite through their Twitter integration, but between the app and the service, any use I had for Dodgeball is essentially gone:

  • While Dodgeball was limited to 22 cities, Brightkite is US-wide. Ironically, this is because Brightkite leverages the Google Maps API – something that Google has failed to do with their own service.
  • Dodgeball is all-or-nothing with location data, while Brightkite has tiered access so that not all of your friends – or the world – get your precise location data.
  • Brightkite integrates with Twitter and FireEagle; Dodgeball essentially silos your data.

Consider Dodgeball’s coffin nailed shut. Brightkite.app is the sort of app I’ve been waiting for since the iPhone SDK was first announced.

Brightkite.app is available now.