It’s either a great tool for staying in touch with your community and co-workers, or the extension of our narcissistic social media world, in which there is no such thing as an activity or thought unshared.
These tools help you indicate on your website or via your social network your availability (or not) for a rendezvous (virtual or in person), with lots of room for updates on your mood, precise street location, party plans, business activities, and whatever other information you want to share.
I haven’t come across any instances of Twitter stalker murders or marriage separations caused by Plazes, but I can see the potential.
Vancouver tech PR consultant and blogger Darren Barefoot says he’s opting out of the latest networking tool: "I want to be able to lie. I want to be able to say I’m busy when I’m not, and I want to manufacture excuses when I’m late. I don’t do this regularly, but I want the option."
I have a less mysterious reason for opting out. My life is just too boring to be examined at such a granular level.
Some gems I’ve kept to myself in the past two weeks:
- "I’m scratching myself while watching Jon Stewart. He’s sucking up to Bill Gates."
- "I’m sitting at my desk at work. I should be writing a speech, but instead I’m letting you know what I’m doing."
- I feel some flatulence coming on.
- "I’m reading blogs now."
- "I’m sleeping."
- "We’re having sex. Kids, pretend you didn’t read this."
For some people and some businesses, there are definite benefits to being able to update your co-workers and clients about your location and availability for calls or meetings.
And I can see the benefits for people who want to stay in touch with their social network. But like Darren, I think I’ll give this one a pass. There is such a thing as too much information.
Darren also points to Robert Scoble on the corporate use of Twitter, and David Armano on how celebrities could abuse the tool for money-making product placements (complete with illustration of Paris Hilton in action).