I don’t know about you guys, but I often feel a little disconnected from all of my “friends” on some of my social network sites.is a new social network that aims to take social networking to a more local level by letting its users connect based on their location.
To me, Brightkite is like a mash up of Twitter and Google Maps. It allows you to make small posts or upload photos, and these updates are then categorized by your current location in order to allow you to connect with the people that are geographically close to you. Updates can be made from your computer or from text messaging on your cell phone.
Now that you have a general idea of what Brightkite is about, I’m going to give you a quick walk through of its basic features. In order to get started, you must let Brightkite know where you are currently located.
Once your location is entered, Brightkite will take you to a page that displays all of the updates from other people in the same area (in this case New York, NY). Now you can check in, add that location to your placemarks, post a note, post a photo, view recent visitors to that location, or check out a map of the area.
You may want to “check in” at this location. Checking in will let Brightkite know your location, and this will allow other users that are close by to interact with you. Brightkite will keep track of all the places you “check in” at, so you can look back one day and marvel at all the places you’ve been.
Add to Placemarks
Brightkite has a bookmarking system called Placemarks. Placemarks are for the locations you frequently visit like your home or work. When you placemark a location, you are asked to give it a name (i.e. work), and this will allow you to post updates using just the placemark name instead of the entire address for that location.
When you select your location, you can post a note or a photo, and this post will be tied to the location you selected. This will allows other users in the area to interact with you.
When you search for an address or an area, you have the option to view a map of that address in order to see what else is close to your location. One of the other cool uses of maps within the site is the ability to map out all the places you’ve “checked in” at using Google Maps.
Brightkite is in private beta, but we’ve got 50 invites to give away to Make Use Of readers. Just send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title brightkite invite and I’ll send you an invite.
Kyle Judkins is a 24 year old marketer and part-time tech blogger. He is the author of Lost In Technology where he talks about some basic technology tips and tricks that everyone can use.