Geomium – Live local, live social?

On: October 11, 2011
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About Mzia Kupunia
Print and radio journalist - before starting my studies at the UvA I was working as a politics and conflicts reporter at Georgia's only English-language newspaper The Messenger, anchoring a talk-show at Tbilisi-based radio station GIPA. At the same time I was working as a news department editor at the Tabula Magazine and did a freelance reporting and writing for the New York Times. I like traveling, cooking and reading.

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http://www.mziakupunia.org    

I never found geolocation-based social networks  and apps any helpful. Geomium proves once more that my skepticism is not groundless. Geomium a location-based social website which, according to its creators is a “community for people to share and experience what everyone is up to and what’s happening around you. Geomium is about having a greater awareness of the events in your area so that you can actually take advantage of the hot band that is playing at the drive bar near the corner, or the new restaurant that just opened down the street that everyone is raving about.” The Geomium app is available on iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Nokia phones.

Although the description of the social networking site and their motto “live local, live social” sounds sexy, it is not exactly the case in real. Let’s follow step by step. You can sign up for a Geomium service for free on the web by filling in a simple blank. You can also sign in using your facebook After signing in, the service finds your location and shows you the people, places, events and deals near you (from 5 miles up to 250000 miles radius). The location is quite precise although not exact. (It shows my street name correctly but fails to find the exact house number) This is probably because the browser does not use a GPS which is more precise.

However slight mistakes in finding locations is not the main problem of the website. The issue is that the people’s location-based updates are quite outdated. If you click on the recent shoutout links for Amsterdam area you discover that the most recent one was posted 3 months and 3 weeks ago. I assume this indicates that the network is not so popular, at least in Amsterdam. Without up-to-date checkins and shoutouts Geomium loses one of its most attractive features – finding people around you.

Places and Deals features meanwhile are not working at all. Places is supposed to show you spots around you where you can hang out with your friends and Deals is supposed to show some money-saving deals, however, as mentioned above none of them is working currently. The only feature which is really up-to-date is the events feature. By indicating the date of the events you are interested in, it shows quite a lot of stuff going on around the area you live. It also provides a brief description of an event and an exact location map.

But things go totally wrong when it comes to a mobile app. Although the website says app is available for Android and iPhone, in fact it is not. According to Geomium data, the last update for the iPhone app was made in June 2010. Users comments on appstore say the application does not work since its was last updated. Geomium app apparently is not available for Android phones as well.

So to wrap up – does the service meet its promises? – Not really. Would I depend on this website when searching for people around Amsterdam to hang out with? Definitely not. If you have never experienced any disappointments in your life and want to know how it feels, try out Geomium service.

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