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.