When people get going on the word “mash-up” they generally point at the things being done to Google Maps by services that use the Google APIs to map everything from crime statistics to apartment classifieds.
I’ve used some great, and useful Google mash-ups. My favorite is the GMap Pedometer which I use to build bicycle route maps for sharing with other riders.
But along comes Frappr — basically an attempt to build some community around the maps, adding physical presence to the notion of social networking. Roadbikereview — a vBulletin based forum favored by cyclists — has a Frappr group. I put myself on there a couple months ago and have never been back.
Yesterday, Rage Boy, aka Chris Locke, sent a Frappr initiated invitation, finding my Roadbikereview handle — Cape Cod Dave — and asking me to join his network. I did, I now see Chris and his buddies, but in the end I’ve gotta ask the question:
Why do I care about where, on a map, other people are?
There’s no payday. Sure, we can babble about Web 3.0 and the airy-fairy notion of presence-enabled web, but I don’t want to have a GPS implanted in my head so people can see “where’s Waldo” as I move around the globe.
I think physical presence information is highly overrated. If I’m in Taiwan I’ll let you know so you can schedule the conference call. Or I’ll share my calendar — if the world ever gets calendar sharing fixed — but will I ever use Frappr to confirm that you are in Timbuktu?