In reply to Who do I know in …? by Lloyd Davis

There’s a static part here (who is usually in which city) and a more dynamic part (I and someone else are both in a city we’re not usually in). For the latter, me and others being both outside our usual movements, Dopplr was great. It gave me a conversation or two per year that otherwise would not have happened. I’ve been playing with sharing travel plans and location in my blog, for those moments I think it might be useful. And I’ve been trying to get that same info in an ActivityPub stream (travel and arrival/leave are activities supported by AP), so that others might follow it in a way other than in plain sight on my site. Such AP streams can be semi-private in the sense of curating its followers. I see such a stream not as a complete thing or providing all my movements, but just enough traces for others to stumble across and in that way slightly increase the probability of generating conversations that otherwise would not have happened.

I don’t want a fully-automated system that only builds the value of my network at the expense of my friends. So for now, it will all have to be “manual” and slow, and rooted in conversation, and talking to people directly, making introductions the way we always have done, even if that doesn’t scale as quickly as we’d like. … Maybe it will always have to be like that, in order to maintain the trust, or maybe, by paying close attention to what we’re doing we might find a way of doing it in partnership and for mutual benefit.

Lloyd Davis

I have been thinking about how to share check-ins or announcements of upcoming travel, and wrote that down in the wiki section: Individualised Plazes. Previously I imported my Swarm check-ins into this site, but I do not want to use such apps anymore.

The purpose for me of sharing location information usually was to enable serendipitous meetings. When I’m at or just left some place, or will be in some city. Crossing paths between me and people in my network have led and can lead to serendipitous meetings. Such meetings are valuable.

Another purpose can be sharing a little review of a place where I’ve been that day.

I’ve named check-ins Plazes (after the first social location sharing service I used), and travel plans Dopplr (the service that used to do this so well in the past). The forms are really simple at the moment, and I’ll gradually make them more useful to me. At the linked page I’ve added some considerations on how to make such posting more useful outside this blog as well, by determining location and location related information beforehand, and by enabling discovery after posting. For now just posting is a start.

I’ve posted an example of a check-in, and an example of a future location. I draft postings through a simple form on my device that uses micropub to post it directly to this site. The forms can be extremely simple because I only need to cater to me and my habits. My personal preferences are predictable to me, and thus easy to code into a function with a handful of variable parameters. Depending on the input of the form it adds the various microformats to make the posting semantically interpretable by machines.

I think there’s no risk for RSS readers of over-sharing (nor for site visitors as the postings won’t show on the site for now). Only when I think there might be an opportunity for meeting someone I’d otherwise not meet, will I share my location. Or when I want to post a review of a place. Unlike in Swarm/Foursquare there’s no gamification going on, nor a leaderboard each week, to nudge me to check-in as often as I can to score more points. No locations to be ‘mayor’ of. Just me going about my days.

A screenshot of my check-in form, and of my ‘dopplr’ form for future locations. Both extremely simple.

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