I’ve been a fan and user of Findery, a location-based social network founded by Caterina Fake (co-founder of Flickr), for about a year, so I was happy to learn the Findery iOS app was released to the App Store for U.S. users on March 6 (the Australian version has been out for some time, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it).
Findery can be described a bit like a combination of Foursquare and Instagram that allows you to write a note about any place on Earth (all you need is the latitude and longitude coordinates). You can then annotate your note with photos and videos, either by uploading or embedding from a number of third-party sites, like YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Instagram, or Soundcloud.
Your notes can be shared with the world, a specific person, or just yourself, and you can combine them with other notes to make Notemaps, collections of places related by location, theme, or any other criteria that strike your fancy.
One of the things I enjoy about Findery is how it fosters storytelling. This isn’t just a site where people simply check in to places (although there is a little of that), Findery is a community where people come to tell their stories about places. Many of the notes I’ve read (and written) on Findery are personal tales, like this one I wrote about the first time I ever caught a walleye on a Canadian fishing trip (presented here with Findery’s embedding tool).
I’ve read stories about the places people got married, where they adopted a new puppy, and brief remembrances of places visited during childhood road trips with departed loved ones.
For that extra dose of user engagement, Findery issues daily challenges, which are fun to participate in and a lot of fun to read. Here’s a note from the recent golf daily challenge titled (appropriately) Golf Course that has a brief but well-played Hobbit reference.
Of course, like any social network, Findery comes with all the standard sharing features (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ ) and ability mark notes as favorites.
Findery has always worked well on mobile browsers (and still does), but the new iOS app is very well done and will make adding notes from a given location that much easier.
So if you’re a map nut like me, give Findery a try, either through your browser of choice or with the new iOS app. And when you do, look me up. I’d love to read your stories.