Pinwheel – pinning, location and content

Posted on March 25, 2012

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I recently got a log-in to Pinwheel. (I think it is, for now, still in closed alpha – so woohoo, get me.) I was exploring it this past week and like what I see.

As readers of these pages will know, I blather on about location, mobile and content quite a lot (even giving the gift of Don’t (geo-)fence me in) and have been inspired by the idea of the place graph (as opposed to the social graph).

The Pinwheel team is trying to cultivate user contributions (is it still the 1:100 ratio of creators versus consumers?) with ‘challenges’ such as Pet Memories or First Kiss or Pedestrian Tips (surely not just boring tips?). But one series of pins caught my eye. Close to the part of London where I live a user (‘giagia’) pinned about ‘Ghost Ads’ – you know, the type of faded, painted ads on the side of buildings that date back 75 years or more.

I think they could be on to something – I’d like to see how someone could then take this set up in other directions, for example around story-telling. (The Guardian’s Streetstories is in this vein.)

Pinwheel also makes me cast my mind back to atlarge.com, which I launched in 2006 while at CNET Networks. In many ways the new site is what I would have liked atlarge.com to have been – much more visual, bigger and better maps, and geo-tagged (because of smart-phone technology and networks) rather than running off a database.

Good luck to the Pinwheel team. Layering visual content over locations (pinning, if that’s now the preferred parlance) has a long, interesting road ahead.

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Posted in: Hyperlocal