Sency is one such service attempting to ride on this new wave

Location-enabled content is changing the contours of real-time or live web. Geo-tagging (or attaching geographic information along with real-time messages) is slowly but steadily becoming an integral part of content emanating from social messaging services. This edition of NetSpeak discusses the implications of this new trend in the social networking realm.

While relaxing on a beach people discuss many things. This is an eternal phenomenon that happens all over the world. Of course, the subjects and themes of discussion certainly change over space and time. The themes discussed by our forefathers and the ones we are now discussing could certainly be different. If by some means we could capture/record those discussions, it would help us gain deeper insights on the life process. Thanks to the innovations taking place in the social networking realm, recording/accessing such discussions is no more a wishful thinking.

Before the excitement centred on social media/social messaging services dies down, the phenomenon is moving into its next phase called geo-social networking. Here, instead of sending bare messages, geographic details too get attached with the message. This achieves two things: a participant can advertise his/her location along with the happening at that place. So, people on a beach can send messages expressing their feelings and tag it with location data. Just imagine the value of this data after 50 years.

The concept of location-based data, made popular by services like Foursquare, is slowly being adopted by mainstream social messaging services like Twitter too. You may wonder how it may help us if someone tells us he is drinking coffee in a restaurant at a particular place. Such lame comments were common during the initial days of Twitter too. Actually, information of this kind when aggregated becomes useful. The information regarding the places where people frequently gather could be resourceful for a marketer. Why should people flock to a particular place/shop unless it has some significance? The number of people assembling at a place can be used as a proxy to measure its popularity. Expertise of people at an accident location could come in handy for those involved in disaster management. As more and more people start using mobile devices to access the real-time web, the location component will assume further significance.

Once data enriched with location starts flowing from various live web sources, entrepreneurs will certainly find new avenues for its value addition. In fact, the potential of location-enriched data has already triggered the imagination of many on-line entrepreneurs and they are inventing new ways to slice and dice this data. While a general real-time search service tells you what is being said by people about something, a location-enabled search service can tell you what is being said by people and from where. Several services that aggregate these data streams have already sprung up to leverage on this newfound opportunity.

The real-time search engine Sency is one such service attempting to ride on this new wave in real-time content. Sency, the search service that aggregates real-time content from services like Twitter, lets you not only know where people are now, but also allows you to view “what they are talking about now”. As per Evan Britton, founder of Sency, now one can search for this type of information from London and 13 other cities from the U.S.

SocialGreat, Hotlist and Gloe are some other services trying to get a foothold in this space.

The location-enabled real-time web is in its infancy as the proportion of tweets with geo tag is still limited. But, once users find the value in providing his location, the percentage of tweets with location identity may go up. (Of course, besides location if we can obtain other parameters like age, sex and the like, we can enhance the value of real-time content further.)

Once the real-time location data gain its rightful place in the cyberspace mobile communications will gain further prominence. Sending Twitter updates via mobile devices is still not that easy — especially, for users from countries like India. In India, only Airtel users can send tweets without much hassle. In this context, a service like Gechi assumes significance. Gechi, a free service, helps you interact with Twitter seamlessly via SMS interface. The service enables you to send/receive tweets from your ordinary mobile phones in India. SMSTweet is yet another similar service stumbled on by this author. (Please note this author has only sampled these services and has not used them extensively.)

Screen sharing with Skype

Skype is an excellent net telephony software used by netizens of all hues. Many people use it as a collaboration tool as well. Recently Skype has further enhanced its collaboration potential by introducing a screen-sharing facility.

With this feature, you can easily share your screen content with any of your contact in the Skype network with a mouse click (http://www.skype.com/ intl /en-us/features/allfeatures/screensharing/).

He can be contacted at: jmurali@gmail.com