Yesterday, Twitter changed its organizing question from “What Are You Doing?” to “What’s Happening?” But if you want to know what’s really happening now, check out Hot Potato, a startup launching right now at our Realtime CrunchUp. Hot Potato is releasing an iPhone app which lets you create a stream of conversations around events based both on your location and what your friends are doing.
Hot Potato is a micro-messaging app that organizes the conversation stream by events. For Hot Potato, an event can be anything that is happening right now: a basketball game, concert, party, street fair, buying a new car, or even just two friends on a bike ride. An event is whatever is happening that people want to share.
The app uses the GPS in your iPhone to show you events people are talking about near you. If you are at a concert, you can see what other people (who also have the app) are saying about it. You can “check in” to places just like with Foursquare, but you can also post a note or photo. All the notes and photos about a particular event are collected on the same page, which is also available on the Web.
Hot Potato uses events as its primary filter, and adds a social and geo layers on top. You sign in with your Facebook account so you can connect with existing friends easily. You can also add your Twitter account. When you send out a note or put up a photo, it can be shared on Facebook, Tweeted out, or shared via email with a link back to the original content. The link goes back to a Hot Potato website where all the links are hosted. Or you can simply share your Hot Potato status (attending, watching, following).
So you can talk about something that is happening to you, share some pictures, and pass it along. Other Hot Potato users can chime in, and you can see what is happening around you. Hot Potato is yet another example of a location app that marries social networks with the real world. You’re at an event. Someone you follow is at the same event. And you find each other through Hot Potato. Or who knows, maybe you meet someone new—because you are both at the same place at the same time and talking about it on Hot Potato.