Google buys Dodgeball; SoLoMo gets a parent

I last wrote about Social Local Mobile Search (there’s a moutful) in October of last year. (Some prefer MoSoSo — Mobile Social Software; I say “whatever”.)

Google, which has component offerings across the board — Social, Local and Mobile Search… and some intersection with Mobile Local Search — has now acquired Dodgeball [via Gizmodo], which cleverly integrates all of the above to help, umm, meet someone “special”…

The best coverage I’ve read is from SiliconBeat, who got some ecosystem thoughts from “friend-of-the-Dodgeball-founders” Clay Shirky; some of it here, check out da’Beat for the rest:

  • Dodgeball uses the mobile phone as its native platform, someplace Google wants to further extend it’s reach.
  • Dodgeball does a better job mapping to real-world social networks than Orkut, since there’s an actual reason *not* to friend someone in db, namely that you don’t want to get spammed with 100 SMSes a night.
  • Google’s mapping work is good at “Where am I?” and “Where is the gas station?” but not so good at the question “Where are my friends?” Dodgeball is really good at that.

The first point is well understood; Google (and MSFT) are charging hard at Mobile (no pressure Russ).

The second point is interesting; I’d personally rather have “allow SMS messages” be a flag for each contact on my one (and only) social network than have a series of different social networks with implicit permissions, but as I’ve written before users/groups/permissions are tough for most to grok.

The third point is perhaps the most interesting then. I’ve written recently on map overlays, and from that perspective, friends is yet another obvious option. I think the smarter (or at least broader) “framework” for thinking about this was presented by Paul Reddick from Sprint at Kelsey; location based services, near field communication and mobile payments. (Paul mentions ‘friend finders’ in the community section.)

If you haven’t read my notes from that session, check ‘em out, think about Dodgeball + Google, then do the abstraction bit.

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