What is it?
Plazes made an announcement at Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen on June 10, 2005, although the service has been around since at least January.
In their own words, “Plazes is the first global location-aware interaction and geo-information system, connecting you with the people and Plazes in your area and all over the world. It is the navigation system for your social life and it’s absolutely free.”
To gain full functionality, you must install a 1.11 mb file on your computer. I did this, and it had trouble syncing with my router. I’m not surprised, since my internet connection is down and I am currently “borrowing” wifi from one of my neighbors. Anyway, I was able to logon and create my very own plaze in Manhattan Beach, California (see the third screen shot below).
This is a very useful application, and I can see using it to find friends and meet new people. The design is well thought out and the social networking tools are as good as we’ve seen.
As their blog indicates, the product is still in beta mode and functionality is being added continuously.
– Discover Plazes anywhere in the world – like hotspots, restaurants, offices, based on search or your current location.
– Hook up with people nearby – see people (and their “metadata”) who are online and near a “plaze”. Message with them.
– Stay in touch with your friends – Plazes has social networking tools like invite, messaging, status, karma etc. Friends can see your currentl location (or keep yourself invisible)