August 11th, 2008

Shizzow knows Portland, Oregon. Now get to know Shizzow.


ShizzowSharing information about your current location with people you trust has always held this glimmer of potential. The glimmer of actually finding the time to meet face-to-face during our ever increasingly busy schedules. The glimmer of that impromptu meetup with people whom you would like to get to know better.

To date, that potential has always remained a glimmer.

The reality? That’s been slightly less beneficial. Reality has tended to be a useless stream of updates, declaring your friends are “in Portland, Oregon” or, worse yet, at some random address that holds little to no meaning.

Introducing Shizzow

And that’s why I’m so glad to see Portland-centric Shizzow opening its private beta, today.

What’s Shizzow?

Shizzow provides the technology for you to notify your friends of your location, with as little effort as possible, so you can spend more time hanging out with your peeps and less time trying to coordinate bringing them together through phone, email, SMS and IM.

I hear you. “Another one?” But hold your horses. I think Shizzow’s got a number of things going for it. And, as far as Portland goes? I think Shizzow has nailed it.

First and foremost, Shizzow is for Portland, Oregon. And only Portland, Oregon. Not the world. Not the Northwest. Portland. And that’s it. Shizzow isn’t about the video-game mentality of adding as many followers as possible—followers you may never ever meet in person. Shizzow is about knowing where your friends in Portland are. So that you can meet them, face-to-face, when those opportunities avail themselves.

Simple and local. By Portland, for Portland. And in my book, that’s huge.

Second, Shizzow is designed to understand where you are—and to tell people where you are—as simply and easily as possible. And I’ve been duly impressed by how hard they’ve worked to make sure that the database of locations is as deep and intuitive as possible.

Why is that important? Two reasons:

  1. No more (or far less) “Please enter the address of your location.” When you “shout” with Shizzow, you just need to know the name of the Portland place in which you’re currently standing. Not the address. Not the GPS coordinates. The name of the place. Easy.
  2. I know places better than addresses. When I’m reading the shouts of my Shizzow friends, it’s a lot (a lot!) easier for me to process “EcoTrust Building” than it is for me to process “721 NW 9th Avenue Portland, OR 97209.” That means, that I’m more likely to go meet my friends or plan my trips accordingly.

Sounds good, huh? I know! So let’s get you involved in this private beta.

Beta invites available

Dawn Foster has been helping Shizzow with its community, so if you’re in the Portland area and interested in an invite, she’s the best person to ping… but you better hurry:

Right now, the beta invites are limited to a couple hundred people living in Portland. I’ll be sending out invites today along with the rest of the team.

Even now, I’m already happily getting a flood of new friends (thank you!), so I know the Portland gang is getting involved. I can’t wait to see how this works once we get big group shouting.

A true side project to startup story

And the final reason that I’m so happy for these guys? They’ve truly made the leap from side project to startup:

Each member of the Shizzow crew has a full-time job outside of Shizzow, and it’s taken a ton of sweat equity and sleep-deprived nights to bring Shizzow to fruition. But because we’ve believed in our vision and believed in the idea of bringing friends and like-minded people together, the sacrifices we’ve made have not seemed like work but instead like… something we simply had to do. And now, 10 months and tens of thousands of lines of code later, we’re ready…

I can’t really put into words how proud I am of these guys. And how excited I am to get everyone in Portland on this service.

That said, what if you don’t happen to make the initial round of invites? Fear not, gentle reader. There’s still another way to get into shouting with Shizzow. As Dawn says:

If you want an invite, and don’t hear from me today, you can get one from me at Lunch 2.0 on Wednesday.

That’s right! Shizzow will be the guest of honor at the Silicon Florist’s Portland Lunch 2.0, this Wednesday. So come on down to CubeSpace, grab some lunch, meet some people face-to-face, and get signed up with Shizzow, so that you can continue those discussions—and continue getting to know your Portland peers.

Call me evil and conniving, but I’m seriously hoping you don’t get an invite. Because that way I get the chance to see you, in person.

In any case, I’m really, really looking forward to all the shouts from CubeSpace, this Wednesday. And to running into you in person—thanks to Shizzow—in the near future.

 

Shizzow is a location-driven social networking service that encourages quality relationships via face-to-face interaction. Dig in at http://shizzow.com . For more information on the launch and Shizzow’s story, see the Shizzow blog.

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26 Responses to “Shizzow knows Portland, Oregon. Now get to know Shizzow.”

  1. I got the username Justin. I’m going to use this service forever now.

  2. dtwood says:

    mobile triangulation would be superb – i would rather have a device tell me i am within a city block of a friend/fan than have to continually (manually) push my location status of any sort. think Twinkle down to a city block proximity. regardless…good luck Shizzow to the hizzy-izow.

    .dtw

  3. Matt Gifford says:

    dtwood: I’m hoping to write an iPhone app that will do just that once Shizzow has published their API.

  4. Jmartens says:

    Would love to use Shizzow on my BlackBerry…mobile site or App in the works? Please say yes, please say yes…

  5. Jmartens says:

    just out of curiosity and to play devils advocate: what is the difference between Shizzow and BrightKite?

  6. Rick Turoczy says:

    @jmartens I’ll let the Shizzow folks chime in, but in my experience—in case I wasn’t blatant enough—Brightkite has largely been “declaring your friends are ‘in Portland, Oregon’ or, worse yet, at some random address that holds little to no meaning.”

  7. Kudos to the entire Shizzow team! I’m glad to finally see the results of the “stealth project” this talented group of people have been working on. I’m signed up for the beta and already making trouble. :-)

  8. Aaron says:

    @Jmartens I’m using the shizzow.com website on my BlackBerry browser and it works just fine… I could even add/approve new people while mobile (something I can’t do with Twitter).

  9. [...] in private beta, Shizzow promises to provide a more simple and straightforward way of finding friends and acquaintanc…: Shizzow is designed to understand where you are—and to tell people where you are—as simply and [...]

  10. Amber Case says:

    I’m so pleased with my experience so far. The problem with Brightkite was its data granularity. Shizzow has solved it! Hooray!

    Thanks to all who worked on it. You rock in the Shizzouze.

  11. [...] If you’d like to know more about Shizzow, mosey over to Shizzow.com, or read the awesome Silicon Florist post about Shizzow. [...]

  12. Gary Walter says:

    So sly Rick. Hosting Lunch2.0 and turning the spotlight on Shizzow. Clever!

    @Jmartens & @aaron I can see Shizzow on my B-Berry too, but, a mobile site would be helpful (ala; Ping.fm) – don’t need a whole app.

    @shizzow – Way to go! Fine piece of work and I love that it is so PDX!

  13. [...] out some other great write-ups here and here or learn more about Shizzow here. Filed under Interactive Design, [...]

  14. [...] Snyder of recently launched Shizzow and his fellow Shizzites (Dawn, Mark and Sam) introduced their new service and handed out a [...]

  15. [...] Shizzow knows Portland, Oregon. Now get to know Shizzow. » Silicon Florist [...]

  16. Adron says:

    I’m glad to be signed up.

  17. [...] more info on Shizzow, see Shizzow knows Portland, Oregon. Now get to know Shizzow. over at Silicon [...]

  18. [...] out some other great write-ups here and here or learn more about Shizzow [...]

  19. [...] all been watching Shizzow come into its own, from its early beginnings as a Portland-only tool to its expanding private beta to its [...]

  20. [...] all been watching Shizzow come into its own, from its early beginnings as a Portland-only tool to its expanding private beta to its [...]

  21. [...] the Silicon Forest has seen. Far from it. Most long-time Silicon Florist readers will remember that Shizzow, Simler, and CitySpeek all made similar attempts to provide folks with that type of functionality. [...]

  22. [...] they deserve. That aren’t getting enough attention. You know, like we used to do with Shizzow and any number of other [...]


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