August 31st, 2010
Portland’s PingGadget purports to take a page from Twitter and a page from Foursquare
Sometimes, there is a better wheel. Sometimes, a market has an 800 lbs gorilla that could use a little toppling. And yes, sometimes, I use inane marketing drivel when I can’t think of any better way to get into an article.
But see? Now we’ve made it through the intro. So I can tell you about PingGadget, a new Portland startup that’s looking to take the best of Twitter’s short format and combine it with Foursquare-esque location information to deliver a new microblogging platform.
PingGadget purports to match location information to short messages in a way that will change the way people think about sending small snippets of text.
The PingGadget service specifically focuses on location-centric benefits and use cases and includes a powerful location and category directory. PingGadget features a 493 city location directory with a custom topic directory, including location-centric topics like jobs, classifieds, recycled goods, events, nightlife, music, and volunteering opportunities.
Now, I say “purports” because honestly, I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve just had a chance to read up on it. And you know what? You may be able to see it first. If you’re available for lunch today.
PingGadget – a new microblogging site started by two 2005 University of Portland graduates (Steve Nguyen and Dennis Moulton) and based in Salem, Oregon – will be hosting a lunch and conducting a demonstration of their software. It will begin at noon, is open to all, and will be located at the Hall of Fame Room inside the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
So if this sounds like something you might want to see, head on over to UP at noon to get a glimpse. I’ll just sit here and wait for my beta invite.
No, no. Don’t worry about me. You kids run along and have your lunches. With your cool demos and whatnot. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Granted, this isn’t the first foray into this type of functionality that 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. Shizzow with its location based shouts, Simler with its topical focus, and CitySpeek with its additional features to extend the traditional 140 character format.
And—if they haven’t already—the PingGagdget folks would be wise to seek the counsel of the creators of those products because they are sure to have some interesting tales to tell. (Especially that Ryan Snyder guy, who just happened to get hired on full time at Mozilla, recently.)
One thing is for sure, the market has changed—somewhat drastically even—since some of those previous forays into microblogging. And Twitter has now become a household word. Foursquare isn’t far behind.
Is the time ripe for another platform? We’ll have to see. Whatever the case, we’ll be keeping an eye on this latest entrant into the stream of consciousness, short message world with great interest.
For more information or to get your beta invite, visit PingGadget. For more insight, see this interview from December 2009 with PingGadget CEO Dennis Moulton.