Hail Fellow Well Met (aka”NewFellow”) is a sort of rolodex for the 21st Century.
When you meet someone interesting, you make a note of their base of operations (their home or office, usually). Later, perhaps when you are travelling, you can click a button to see which friends are most nearby, so that you can pay a call on them.
I’ve graduated college, and all my friends are scattering across the face of the country. It’s hard to remember who lives in which city. This is a bummer – if I’m going to be in New York for a few days, I’d love a reminder that my friend Elly lives nearby.
Luckily, I can go through my friends and easily search for them via facebook. Then I write down their new addresses. Now, when I fly in to NYC, I can get a list of nearby friends and their addresses.
I created NewFellow for my own personal use. I decided that I wanted to create something that didn’t suffer from the network effect – if I’m the only user, then this should still be useful.
However, if NewFellow does take off, I can definitely see a future where your contacts are updated dynamically rather than statically. That is, if two people have saved each other as “NewFellow contacts” and end up in the same area, a small alert should show up, even if neither of them are at the static addresses they’re “supposed” to be in.
Furthermore, the way to show nearby friends is the closest you can get to raw database output. Using my work with HappyTrack, it would be quite easy to show nearby friends in a nice visual way as pins on a map, or even as a list ordered by closeness.
Lastly, groups such as the Roosevelt Campus Network are interested in extending this as a way of keeping up with their networks. You could preload a branded version of this app with all the network members beforehand, and update it periodically as membership changes. Then, members could use the branded app to find others nearby. This would work even better with dynamically-updated location information.
First we see the intro screen. Its beauty lies in its functionality. Click on “Add new contact” to start the process of remembering someone.
Next, we see the “addname” screen.
We can either manually type in the name of the person we are adding, or search for them through facebook. In this case, we’ll use facebook to find our friend Sarah.
That done, we move to the address screen. Here, having either manually added Sarah Steele’s name or done it through a handy facebook-assisted search, we can type her address. Google Maps API will take the address we type in any format and attempt to provide us with the best match.
Now we just add Sarah to our collection of friends and their addresses.
Later, I go back to the intro screen and click on “see who is nearby.”
The NewFellow app tells me that my good friend Lauren is nearest.
Hm.. perhaps I should give her a call.
Significant New Technical Components
- Substantial facebook integration
- Custom widgets
- Complex Local database