Location, location, location

How your physical location is modifying online

Increasingly it seems that the geographical context of where you are physically accessing the web is coming to the fore. This is no surprise as it helps the likes of Google to match its users search queries that bit more closely.

The recent rise and rise of Twitter – the darling of the media at the moment is certainly catalysing the idea that location-based web surfing is great.

Google recently released Latitude, an update to Google Maps which enables users (who you have allowed) to see where you are.

This has alarmed a few privacy groups and has once again highlighted just how much Google knows about its users. Now that the functionality is there, my guess is that it will slowly creep into use in much the same way that CCTV seems to have been adopted throughout the UK without any real debate.

Google doesn't seem too bothered about consumer perception when it comes to just how much data it is sitting on. Unlike Vodafone, for example, who famously decided not to launch a raft of location-based products specifically because of consumer privacy perception.

Or Nike’s back down on the roll out of RFID reading technology in its stores. Most of Nike’s high-end running shoes have RFID built-in as part of the Nike Plus product and the plan was that Nike would greet its consumers Minority Report/Gap store style, with offers and handy suggestions like ‘have you thought of replacing your running shoes as you have had them for x months’, when they enter the store.

I have been ‘monitoring’ various heavily searched celebrities on Twitter recently and you can actually learn a great deal about what they are up to, and even more surprisingly, their location. For example, did you know that Lily Allen got a present from a chap at EMI called Miles congratulating her on her recent number one in the form of a gold Rolex? No? Check it out.

The instant feedback (Tweets) from other users is interesting; some are clearly obsessed fans and others are on there to have a pop at the Tweetberry enabled lil’ Lily. Time will tell if Twitter is good for ‘brand Lily’ and whether the practice of Twitpiccing fellow ‘larger’ beach goers is really a good idea.

It highlights that the release of such personal data seems to have suddenly happened. It's like Facebook, but in true realtime.

See you on Twitter then.