Buddycloud is an open source alternative to Foursquare which offers location based social networking as well as more traditional interests based groups. It’s available for the Nokia platform and iPhone (almost) with alpha versions for Android available too if you hunt around.
It’s interesting because it’s open, which is important if the Net is going to avoid being swallowed up by a small group of huge corporate services which own and control data and access. The other crucial bonus for supporting open systems is the fact that users get the benefit of an open ecology which means much more flexibility in the number and type of addons, more security etc etc.
I also like the fact that the devs are not trying to copy, but also trying to innovate. Witness the idea that you don’t have to check-in, the program does that automatically whenever you visit one of your established bookmarked locations. Neat idea. Definitely one to watch (and support) for the future.
We are focusing on federating buddycloud channels. A channel is like your Facebook wall. Your friends can post to your channel and you receive instant push-based updates. Channels also enable you to share your location with your trusted friends in a way that you control. Channels work well and I don’t want to change anything about their formula. Indeed as a user you shouldn’t even notice a difference once your channel server is federated. I want channels to be federated and a thousand channel servers to bloom.