Does L.A.'s car culture make new social media difficult?
In early May, Mark Ghuneim was sitting in his hotel room at the Four Seasons near Beverly Hills. He discovered via his iPhone's Foursquare app that a friend was at the Echo, a concert venue in Echo Park about eight miles away, about to watch a concert.
"I'm realizing that even if I got in my car and drove there right now, I'd miss the set," he said.At that moment, Ghuneim did not find Foursquare as useful as some of its 1 million users do. Location-based services are the hot new form of social networking, allowing users to tell their friends where they are and what they think of that place. Loopt has more than 3 million users and MyTown has more than 2 million, while Twitter and Google also have location-based features.
But as Ghuneim discovered, these services might not be an ideal fit for Los Angeles, a city that has always had anxiety when it comes to locations.
Angelenos tend to spend too much time in a location we don't want to be, driving to a location we're trying to reach, along with a bunch of other people fighting to do the same. The city's spread-out geography and car dependence might make it particularly inhospitable to the spontaneity that these services thrive on.