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Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive



A shot in the dark vs. a planned get together

Rather than simply telling everyone, “I’m at Uncle Billy’s BBQ” in a tweet and hoping others are within the area and can show up at the drop of a dime, the new kid on the block is Plancast which allows you to tell your social networks what you plan on doing in the future so others can join in. It’s less of an event planning site and more of an informal tool like Foursquare that allows people to “check in.” Plancast is so new that it doesn’t have its iPhone or mobile apps developed out but word is that they’re working on that.

For me personally, this tool is fantastic because I’m not much of a “drop what I’m doing and go see people” type, I’m more of the “I’ve scheduled out my entire week down to the minute” type, making Plancast conducive and more effective for me and others like me. So if you’re planning on spending Thursday working at Austin Java and wouldn’t mind if others worked with you on their own projects, tell Plancast. If you’re going hiking and would love others to join you on Saturday, tell Plancast. You get the idea, it’s a great way to invite your social network contacts into your offline social life.

Take a look:

Instead of me raving about it, I’ll take you on a photo tour. Enjoy! (…and click any image to enlarge)
Agent Genius is not affiliated with Plancast, Gowalla, Foursquare or Twitter.

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  1. Eric Hempler

    December 2, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Why not just setup an event on your Facebook and invite everyone?

  2. Lani Rosales

    December 2, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Less steps AND easier to populate Twitter with. Also, you can see other peoples’ events rather than just your own making it easy for me to browse and say “omg, Brandie’s coming to a conference in Austin, we should get together” and reach out personally without her having to spam me with a blanket, probably untargeted invitation.

  3. Real Estate Feeds

    December 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive: A shot in the dark vs. a planned get together
    Rather tha…

  4. Arjan Muthert

    December 2, 2009 at 9:06 am

    @agentgenius Plancast – Gowalla or Foursquare For the Less Impulsive

  5. Fred Romano

    December 2, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Sounds way to geeky for the avg joe to use. You really plan every minute? I don’t know any agent that does that.

  6. Lani Rosales

    December 2, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Fred, IF you think of it this way…

    untech savvy realtor is least geeky < tech savvy realtor is a little geeky < tech savvy realtor on twitter is more geeky < tech savvy realtor on plancast/foursquare/gowalla is most geeky're probably right. However, I challenge you to think of it as an open invitation to your social network (which should be your pipeline)- I don't plan on using it for every tiny thing I do, but if I want locals to join us, I gently pull them instead of spamming them. So, if I do coffee every Wednesday with my coworking group (freelancers that bring their laptops to a coffee house, work on their own projects but do it in a group), I would put that on Plancast with the implication I'm inviting others.

  7. Portland Condo Auctions

    December 2, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Its like reverse stalking. I dont like people knowing where I am or where I am going to be all the time, so this is not my sort of tool I guess.


  8. Karen Goodman

    December 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    There just seems to be a safety issue to me with both of these sites. I am all for connecting with my social networks, but the idea of advertising where I will am (or will be) to total strangers just seems like an open invitation for trouble.

    Instead, turning an event into a tweetup when you know at least one other person you are comfortable with will join you just seems safer.

    • Lani Rosales

      December 3, 2009 at 1:05 am

      Karen, this is why more people will make their Twitter accounts private (not wanting to broadcast publicly where you are or where you are going). Plancast is public however, so I personally won’t be using it to announce family vacation plans or anything rather publicly noting events I’m going to that are open to others or events I am hosting (which is frequent).

      Plancast, Foursquare and Gowalla are no more or less safe than having a public Twitter account.

      • Karen Goodman

        December 3, 2009 at 8:58 am

        I have do disagree with you on the point that these GPS sites that advertise your present location are just as safe as Twitter.

        Twitter doesn’t tell people where I am or will be at any given time. I occasionally chose to announce where I’m having lunch, but otherwise the only times tweet where I am is when I am attending a large group event or will be someplace where a lot of people know me (like my office).

        I know that there is a lot of information out in the cloud about all of us know, but using Foursquare would be like strapping a GPS device to my ankle and announcing it to the world. Using social media tools are great, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use some common sense in regards to safety.

        • Benn Rosales

          December 3, 2009 at 9:59 am

          “Twitter doesn’t tell people where I am or will be at any given time. I occasionally chose to announce where I’m having lunch, but otherwise the only times tweet where I am is when I am attending a large group event or will be someplace where a lot of people know me (like my office).”

          This is exactly what’s been said here, controlling what you put out there, inviting people to where you want to invite them, we do this everyday with Twitvite and other meeting tools, this one is just more personal and strategic to/for you.

          If you say on your public twitter account that you’re at work, I would imagine a smart someone by using the power of search or just watching you for long periods could deduce exactly where you work, has your picture, could follow you whereever you went… (I wont go any further cuz it’s just creepy) is the point she’s making, all of it is “out there” for the world to see- it’s in public, unless you’re private. At least then you have some reasonable right to privacy.

  9. Jason Sandquist

    December 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    since joining the other day, already found a few groups/events throughout the city I had no idea that existed that *peaked* my interest that I intend on showing face to ie: start-up groups, general networking groups, wordpress, the list goes on.

  10. Chris

    December 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Plancast is evidence that the Internet has moved into another bubble similar to 10 years prior. This is a redundant service that any of the top social services could implement in months. We will see if they survive after the first round of the current buzz for the product

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Social Media

Twitter branches out into voice chat – what could go wrong?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We’re learning more about Twitter’s forthcoming audio chat rooms, but what is Twitter learning about moderation?



Twitter open on a smartphone on table next to a cup of warm brown tea.

Twitter wants you to talk more with more people. Like, actually form words. With your mouth.

In November 2020, the micro-blogging giant announced it’s testing its new Audio Spaces feature, which allows users to create audio-only chat rooms – making it what Wired calls a copycat of the new and buzzy Clubhouse app.

Twitter itself hasn’t released many details, but tech blogger/app-feature detective Jane Manchun Wong has been tweeting some of the deets.

How it works

Here’s what we know about the private beta version, according to Wong: Users create a chat room and can control who is admitted to the group, whether it’s the public, followers, or followees. Group size is currently limited to 10. Members can react with a set set of emojis: “100,” raised hand, fist, peace sign, and waving hand. Spaces conversations are not recorded, but they are transcribed for accessibility. It uses Periscope on the back end.

One thing that’s not clear: The actual name. Twitter’s announcements have been calling it Audio Spaces, but the product’s handle is @TwitterSpaces.

It’s Twitter! What could go wrong?

The big gorilla in the chat room is moderation – as in, how do you keep humans from being terrible on Twitter?

We can all be forgiven for skepticism when it comes to Twitter’s aim to keep Audio Spaces safe(ish). Twitter can be a toxic stew of personal insults and even threats. Interestingly, Twitter is starting its test by inviting users who are often targets: Women and people from marginalized groups. Great idea! Who better to help craft community guidelines?

Requiring platforms to shut down hate speech and violent threats is having a moment, and Clubhouse is already in the controversy mix. Even as invite-only, the app has had some high-profile failures to moderate with threats toward a New York Times reporter and a problem anti-semitic conversation. It seems likely Twitter is paying attention.

Also on the safe(ish) side: The space creator is all powerful and can mute or kick out bad actors. Spaces can also be reported. Then there’s the transcription, which sets Audio Spaces apart from similar apps. Chat transcription was aimed at accessibility but, TechCrunch suggests that might help keep things civil and appropriate if people know their words are being written down. Hmm. Maybe?

Also… Why?

It doesn’t appear that there was a groundswell of demand from users, but Audio Spaces at least is something different from the feature pile-on making the social media big dogs start to look the same, as in Twitter’s also-new Fleets, Instagram’s and Facebook’s Stories, Snapchat’s… Snapchat. (See also Instagram’s Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight, TikTok’s… TikTok.)

Clubhouse does appear to be hugely popular in Silicon Valley – and it has the investment capital to show it – so maybe there’s something to this audio-only chat thing. But we’ve already seen pandemic-fueled Zoom-happy-hour-fatigue, as users have gotten frustrated with too many people talking at the same time. Video chat can give users at least a few more clues about who is talking and who might be about to talk. Audio-only chat seems like it could quickly devolve into a chaotic cacophony.

But, Twitter says, conversation will flow naturally, and it advises users to “be present.”

“Just like in real life, the magic is in the moment,” it says.

It’s beta testers will surely have a lot to say about “magic” and “moderation.”

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Social Media

New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.



Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.



Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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