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The Hero and The Community

There is…wait. Let’s talk about YOU first.

Maybe you’re a teenager. Maybe you’re a geek professional working a good job. But it’s you, right? You are the hero of your everyday life, you make it happen, you’re special.

So, things you do are special. How you dress, what you eat, where you go. Where you go. If only there was some way to track that…

But wait, there is! All these great companies like Foursquare and Gowalla are giving you the ability to check in to places and let people know where you are. You can earn badges, and with Foursquare, you can even become the mayor. The mayor! There’s a nice title for a person like you. President or King or Empress just sounds too much, too ridiculous, but Mayor…there’s a title that’s just right for someone of your eminence. Mayors are important and get things done, but they are approachable, and that’s what you are, right? Approachable.

So check in! Your friends can find you and they can check in, too! You can all check in and tell the world, “Here I am, this is me, this is what I do, this is my life in exquisite personal detail!”

What about the community? You’re in it, right? You’re enriching it by your presence, and everyone should know that!

Wait, I forgot, I was going to talk about something else at the start. But here it is.

There’s a different kind of checking in offered by www.blockchalk.com. It is different in that it’s totally anonymous,m and your “chalks” are sorted by your location. which defaults to your neighbourhood. Not Frou-Frou Cafe, just that you’re in West New Old Portobello.

And your name, or ID, doesn’t show up unless you type it in. So you are sort of coerced to enter something about your neighbourhood, the area where you are existing in at the time. A sort of broader sense of where you are.

You can also categorize your “chalks” around things like Nice, Lame, Crime, or just Ask something of other people. About the neighbourhood in general, or even about Cafe Frou Frou. But it’s not immediately about you, this great person, being the centre of attention, with your ID and your badges and your mayorship. It’s implicitly biased towards making you anonymous and talking about your surroundings and how other people might interact with these same surroundings.

Maybe it’s not surprising that the Hey look at me I’m over here apps have dominated the marketplace, and Block Chalk is sort of over there in the corner. Will it get some market traction? I don’t know. But I wish it did and let us remind each other that life isn’t always about Hey me I’m here me.

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