It’s time for a geosocial community, and what I’m doing about it

GeoAppLabI’m a fanatic for check-in services like Gowalla and Foursquare. I get really excited when I see businesses like Austin’s One Taco, who use check-in services to both serve customers and make money. It’s the ultimate win-win, and it reaffirms that free, competitive markets are great. I love spending money on businesses that innovate and reach out to me in whatever digital space I’m in without spamming my friends and me.

Every geek I know feels the same way.

It’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s no real “community” for geosocial users and business owners who want help tapping these new markets. There’s no single “go-to” source for help.

I hate that when I search Google for geosocial news and tutorials, I see little more than spammy blogs and fragmented articles.

There’s no help for you if you want to get your business on the Foursquare bandwagon. There’s no help for you if you want to become a Yelp power user, or if you want to teach your parents how to check-in for free stuff at their favorite restaurant by using the power of Gowalla.

That’s no longer the case

Today I’m very excited to announce the launch of GeoAppLab, which strives to do all of these things and so much more. I want GeoAppLab to become a hub for geosocial users.

I want to help businesses that want to better serve their customers through check-in services and geosocial networks. I want to help businesses connect through geosocial tools.

I want to watch as the guy who got a free taco by checking in at the taco truck using Gowalla comes back again and again for paid tacos, and watch as he uses Twitter and Facebook to tell his friends how awesome this taco truck is.

Social networking, and especially geosocial networking, is about customer service. The sooner businesses get onboard with this exciting technology the better they can start tapping new customers and grow in ways that they never before imagined.

The goal

GeoAppLab is a lot more than just a Web site. It’s a place where users share insight and opinions, where guest-analysts offer tutorials and advice on getting your business to leverage services like Gowalla and Foursquare to double your profit. It’s a place where you can learn how to get the most out of geosocial communities and customer networks.

Starting right now, you can visit GeoAppLab for news and tutorials on how to get started in the geosocial space. Subscribe on Twitter. Subscribe to GeoAppLab’s RSS.

Get it through email.

Just get it, and follow along for the ride.

I hope to see you there.

A few thoughts on the iPad

It’s been just under a week since I began getting really excited about the iPad. The idea of having a mobile, flatscreen web browser, media player and word processor was almost too much to bear. That excitement is wearing off.

Will I get an iPad? Maybe. But if I don’t, here’s why: By some accounts the iPad is difficult to type with, especially if you try to write more than a few sentences. This is frustrating for bloggers, students, and people who deal with lots of text for a living.  Sure, you can hook the device up to an external keyboard, but at the cost of compromising the iPad’s purpose — to fill the space between phone and laptop.

I want a device similar to the iPad that’s more than a media viewer. I want a media creator; one that has a front-facing camera and USB ports to attach external devices. I don’t want to deal with unstable wi-fi, and I want the ability to install OSX-compatible software of my choice.

I haven’t ruled anything out, but for now, I’m not completely sold.