Ok, folks, here we go with another social networking application that may become very helpful for communities, specially for those who are disperse throughout different time zones, countries, regions, etc. A number of different webloggers have already commented about it (Downloadsquad, Lifehacker, Full Circle Online Interaction Blog, Micro Persuasion, even my colleague Ed Brill on the subject of the LotusSphere 2006) but I thought I would share a few comments to indicate how virtual communities could actually make use of this new beta offering. The new application is called Frappr and you can find more information about it here.
As you will be able to see from its homepage, Frappr just puts together Google Maps for your group(s) with the possibility of uploading and sharing different photos between group members. The key success factor from this particular new offering is the fact that it will provide you with a key web presence between group members by allowing you to know where folks are at any given point in time. And not only that, you are also able to share some of your favourite pictures so that they can be used as icebreakers, specially for those groups or communities where they may not know well enough one another and they would need to work some more on their social capital.
The great thing as well about Frappr is the fact that you can embed the actual map directly into your own web site, whether it is a regular web site or a weblog and that way you can always keep in touch with those people who are regular members of the group or who would visit the web community space on a regular basis. Either way, if you would want to provide instant awareness to your web community space you might as well go ahead and create your own Frappr map.
And, finally, just to show you how it would work I have now created the group elsua and I have added it into my weblog template. From there you can add yourself and show us where you are. Pretty much like what was happening with ClustrMaps but this time around you can also show the rest of the weblog readership some of your favourite pictures and add some further comments as well. So go and spend a few minutes and show us where you are !