Facebook and Twitter may be a great way to organize revolutions, but as we saw during the last few weeks of checking #Egypt and #Jan25 hashtags, following them on Twitter can mean a frustrating hunt through lots of chaff to find a few grains of wheat. We knew exactly where the epicenter was, but we had no GPS-based way to zero in on those Twitter users who were actually on the scene.
“The traditional social network just doesn’t work when it comes to news,” says Luke Stangel, cofounder and chief marketing officer at Tackable, a Palo Alto-based startup tackling this problem by building a standalone social network that “organizes media on a map.”
Tackable’s current shape is an iPhone app-based social network focused on geotagged news photos and captions. The system will eventually include text, audio, and video, and of course an Android app is on the way. The Tackable vision is that when breaking news happens, you’ll be able to use the app to zero in on the location on the map, and see whether network members have posted photo, video and comments, without needing to have a previous relationship with those people.
“You don’t really care what a dentist in Baltimore thinks about Egypt,” Stangel said. “What you really want to do is talk to a protester who is there on the ground. So what we do is we break the social network and we replace it with something else. We put it on the map. So if you’re interested in Egypt, you simply pull the map over to Egypt and you can see all the media that’s coming out of the country, from people who are there on the ground.”