Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Geotility & Cerambycidae Lamiinae Aristolobia Horridula

There's a long and funny (with hindsight) story about how this creature managed to become part of my life for about 12 hours but the reason for putting it out there again is Faris has come up with a really nice term for a concept that I've loosely talked about for a while in a slightly different context and I've been using this picture to explain it. Faris calls it Geotility and its the linking of geographical or location based data with pretty much everything else. I'm particularly interested in the information that is accumulated through social media sites although as I've also indicated elsewhere, it's us who should be in control of that information not the social networking sites who should really act as a broker in any transactional exchange model rather than message pusher. More pull than push (Fuzzy logic?)

So the insect CerambycidaeLamiinae Aristolobia Horridula above came into my life unexpectedly a couple of years back in the Tropics and managed to turn it upside down in such a way that really freaked me at the time but the remaining question I had once it had gone away is, what was it? I showed it to a few knowledgeable people who have lived in Thailand for years but no one recognised it and so I was left mystified as to how I could find out apart from emailing it to entomologists and hoping they might know.

It was only later I realised what could be the future of social media and networking when I saw this guy crouched on the ground taking photographs of insects. I didn't actually know what he was up to at first but once I'd asked (he was cataloguing the decline and fall of insect populations on Wimbledon common from climate change) it became clear that he could help me. I might have missed this guy if he'd just been walking by but what occurred to me as a really useful utility for social media is that if I could have a status update on anyone of my social media sites that I was looking for an entomologist and this chap belonged to one, albeit willing to share information as his status too, then it might prove to be a useful connection builder. What if I could exchange my status as a blogger with some traffic to promote his activities in return for some professional help on bug finding?

Where I think Geotility gets really interesting though are the day to day needs of for example people like students at school. I can envisage a situation whereby a student who is poor at maths may well benefit from seeking advice from a maths student who is weaker at literature, a subject the first student is stronger at. Wouldn't it be great to put those people together in places where time is traditionally wasted like train stations, parks, bus stops or any one of the places that we travel through and are now able to broadcast our location along with needs and wants?

There are thousands of examples I can think of that would particularly be useful for those who would prefer to borrow items than buy wasteful and damaging products to the environment and climate. I'm thinking about John Grant's power drill library that he talks about in his book The Green Marketing Manifesto (a book every planner should read) . Anyway hats off to to Faris for giving it a terrific name. I think it will be a massive concept. Particularly when oil hits 200 bucks a barrel.

Which it will.


  1. Digibarter meets cognitive deficit. Nice.

    And I'd read about power drills if Grant ever lets me have the copy I was promised way back when.

  2. With the iPhone 3G adding GPS to its features list, it won't be too long before we see social applications that accept GPS co-ordinates to connect people in close proximity.

    Enjoy the olympics and keep us updated Charlie!

  3. you made me realise that i may have been thinking about the digital thumb in the hitchiker's guide - geobroadcast needs...

    and John - you nailed it mate. brain barter.

  4. Kedar mate. The whole post is all about that. I've clearly failed to get my point across! How else does the entemologist get in contact with bugged out me?

  5. Holy Crap Faris. That just got me scrabbling to check two domain names just then :)

  6. You got it across well and clear. I was just thinking of the first such app out loud. :)

  7. Phew that's a relief Kedar. Let's catch up soon on whats going on in your neck of the woods :)