Nice discussion with Andrew (http://fisharepeopletoo.blogs.com/) about some nice features of GeoNotes. He was suggesting that the good is related to the fact that there is no map involved. Also that the authors made a precise decision restricting the field of interaction to the place. He also mentioned the emergence of spontaneous form of usage of the tool to support specific communities. This is also one of my running hypothesis.
It’s got so much good stuff. It lets users name places, it uses conversation and noticeboard metaphors, and not a map to be seen.
They also make what I think is a very good and very useful decision, which is to put a spatial restriction on posting and reading – you can only post and read when you’re in a place, not remotely online.
Even in their little trial, something great happened. People started naming imaginary places in real locations – “Floor 42” in a ten story building – in order to put in messages for their own group of friends.
Isn’t that wonderful. It seems so obvious after the fact, but you would never have been able to think that up beforehand. It emerged because their system is so good, it allows for creation.