Today's highlight is on the location-based service called DEHOOD which launched on May 26, 2010. Even though this service came out exactly 3 months ago, it already has a lot of users and it is positioning itself completely differently than any of the other LBS'.
DEHOOD launched as a full featured social networking application that provides direct communication to everyone in your physical neighborhood the like of which no one else seems to be attempting.
For you, the retail jewelry store, you goal will be to get yourself listed in their Places database. As of this writing, their database is not only limited, it's also a bit corrupted. Admittedly, listing in each LBS is corrupted, but HOW they are corrupted really makes you raise an eyebrow.
Thankfully DEHOOD is smart enough to allow you to add your Place if not already listed, but they also give the general public the ability to correct listings. In this way, they allow the local people to build an accurate system together, much like the cooperative methods of Wikipedia. That said, you have to get in there and make sure your listing exists and is accurate before someone else does it.
DEHOOD has a feature to allow users to report on current "deals." For example, if you have a contest sign-up in your store, a customer could report "Go to Jewelry Store and fill out the form to win a diamond. Expires Sept 15." That local deal will show up on everyone's cell phone when they log into the system for the day.
DEHOOD is trying to create a local social environment. Facebook is focusing on social media on a global scale, but DEHOOD wants to create an environment between residents within only a few hundred meters of their home.
Other features include local chat, the ability to report local news like fire or traffic jams, the ability to shout out "where are all those sirens heading, what's happening?"
They package it nicely and it doesn't take long at all to learn your way through this very large system. The local social networking is very intriguing and it seems to be the first. If that's not enough to keep users engaged, they also have a contest system whereby as you check-in at different locations you can "discover Scratchies." The Scratchie game creates competition between you and all other locals because you are rewarded for the amount of time you spend in the DEHOOD environments.
This might seem strange, but the next time there's a local incident involving Emergency Services, you should be able to check the Real-Time News board in DEHOOD to get details and see photos instead of going outside and watching in person.
There is legitimate value in this system, and as long as it keeps its focus it will be around for the long term.
This is way beyond Web 2.0 conversations… Get involved.