Online students connect off line with ‘geosocial’ networking

Double Dutch could be on more campuses later this year.

Because an online college student might want to meet a classmate the old-fashioned way – face to face – Arizona State University (ASU) has a social networking platform that helps students spot each other on their laptops and smart phones.

More than 600 ASU Online students are connected to spark, a “geosocial” site that allows students to check in when they enter a library, coffee shop, or anywhere else in their community. The hope is that other ASU web-based students will see a virtual classmate in a nearby coffee shop and stop by to say hello.

The spark site, powered by San Francisco-based Double Dutch, is similar to other geosocial or geo-tagging services like Foursquare, Yelp, Gowalla, and Facebook Places.…Read More

Facebook Places could meet skepticism on college campuses

About 5 percent of U.S. web users have used a location-based online service.
About 5 percent of U.S. web users have used a location-based online service.

Facebook’s opt-in feature that lets friends check each other’s locations could be useful for colleges and universities tracking the most popular campus destinations, but social media experts say students haven’t yet embraced geo-tagging in any form.

Facebook announced Aug. 18 that its 500 million members can now use the company’s Places application on their smart phones to tell friends where they are—a local restaurant or movie theater, for example—much like the geo-tagging services Yelp, Gowalla, Booyah, and Foursquare.

Places requires a free download update to the Facebook mobile application, and once users “check in,” they can show their Facebook friends where they are. Members can block the general Facebook population from seeing their location.…Read More