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. is the sort of app I’ve been waiting for since the iPhone SDK was first announced. is available now.


iUseThis for the iPhone

It’s been just over two years since I started using iUseThis, a neat web tool for tracking OS X apps you use. A social network for software junkies, I suppose.

As part of iPhoneDevCamp, Marcus and Arne have launched an iPhone-centric version of the site, allowing people to track and comment on their iPhone apps.

This is one of those things that I didn’t realize I was missing until I saw it. While the App Store does have plenty of methods of app feedback (user reviews, popularity ratings), it does tend to be a bit low on the signal to noise ratio. IUseThis works better, with a or Digg like method of popularity. The more people that mark they use an app, the higher it goes.

You can find my app list on my profile.

(Before anyone starts marveling as to the number of apps I have purchased: dumping five years of spare change into an iTunes gift certificate via Coinstar makes all the difference in the world.)


Vimeo vs. Gamers

Today, in tech news:

  • Twitter has announced that they are banning all messages (or “tweets”) relating to Apple, due to capacity concerns, given the massive usage spikes during Apple keynotes and product releases.
  • Flickr announced that screenshots and drawn artwork will no longer be allowed for upload, as they do not truly constitute ‘creative expression’ and do not jive with the mission of the site.
  • LiveJournal specified new policy, banning posts about user’s parents. “We simply do not want to spend the money and resources to host these entries,” said management.

To users of these services, all of this probably sounds ridiculous. Sites based around user submitted content would be foolish to restrict content based on topic, media type, or content.

The above headlines are fake, but this one is not: Vimeo is banning videos related to video games.

“The Vimeo staff has decided that we are no longer going to allow gaming videos on Vimeo. Specifically, we are no longer going to allow game walk-throughs, game strategy videos, depictions of player vs player battles, raids, fraps, or any other video gaming videos that simply depict individuals playing a video game. Videos falling into this category will be subject to deletion as of September 1st; new videos of this type will be removed.” – Blake Whitman, Vimeo Staff