Disclaimer: I consider Justin Shaffer a friend, and have gone to Yankees games with him, but we bought our own food.
Justin Shaffer, former geek in residence at MLB Advanced Media, the digital arm of the nation’s pastime, is on the cusp of tossing a new entrant into the social media game with “Hot Potato”. When Apple finally gets off its duff and approves the iPhone application, you’ll be able to experience it first hand.
There’s been some reasonable press coverage since Justin first tipped his hand at TechCrunch last week, but I think Hot Potato is more like Twitter: until you use it, you won’t get it. Put another way – Every time the Devils score a goal at a game where the Bubba and I are rockin’ our last row seats, we make sure to high-five people sitting behind us. I don’t know who they are, they wouldn’t pick me out of a crowd, but for 90 seconds they are my best friends in red and black. I’d love their thoughts and comments on the event as it unfolds. Sports fans participate by sharing their views, however loudly, and it’s more fun when you have an audience.
Despite media predictions that “location” is the next killer service, it’s not. I don’t really care what half-wasted Rangers fans think of the Devils, even if they are in the building. There were plenty of coffee-loving people at my favorite Dunkin’ Donuts this morning, but I’m not interested in connecting with them, just having them avoid double-parking so the lot doesn’t congest further. Location and intersection of interests is the killer – add in the mildly unknown, like an amazon.com recommendation, or (gasp) a Facebook ad based on your preferences and recent activity, and you have the basis for digital life accentuating the real world.
Now if only we could really throw hot potatoes at Rangers fans, via our iPhones….