Distance Interaction Project – Brainstorming

When I initially started brainstorming about this project, I began thinking about friends and relatives who live outside of the New York area. I briefly analyzed how often I see them and I began to realize that although I might not talk them regularly either offline or online, the amount of hours we spend together during a visit far exceeds the amount of time I would normally spend with my local friends, say over the course of a given year.In class I remembered Jonah commenting that he tends to see his friends who live farther away more often than he sees friends who live in New York. I can say, I have the exact same issue.

Being from Philadelphia, I have a short commute back to my home town. When I do go back, I feel somewhat obligated to attempt to connect to friends that I do not get to see very often (at least that’s how it feels). Usually it works out, that I will meet up with 2 or 3 of them if I go back for a weekend or longer, and it’s great. We catch up, go out for beers and just hang out.

When it comes to my friends in New York on the other hand, I have a far less successful rate in actually getting together or making plans at all. Most everyone I know here is constantly busy. Whether its working late, going out of town, planning a vacation, contending with the holidays or having someone visit from outside the city, we always have an arsenal of reasons why we cannot get together as opposed to having reasons why we can.

There are of course many applications that we use to let people know where we are and what we are planning on doing. There are two problems with both these applications. One, once you announce your location it is usually to late to plan on your friends meeting up with you, this is exemplified in Foursquare. Checking-in will not teleport your friends to your location. Two, making plans using Facebook ‘Events’ is very formal and usually is not used for casual get-togethers or last minute plans like drinks after work.

I plan on exploring the grey area between checking-in to announce your current location and longer term planning for more formal or organized events. I will be researching precedence, asking potential users how they ‘plan’ to see their close friends who they do not see very often and how I can differentiate using a potential app versus group text messaging.


  1. http://bdnooz.com/lbsn-location-based-social-networking-links/#axzz1nt5ZrQYS

    -here are a bunch of apps you might want to check out before starting…

    1. cool, thanks

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