Friending in Real Life is Easier

Beer and BlogI wanted to share funny story from Friday. After WebVisions, I headed over to Beer and Blog, a weekly Friday gathering of local bloggers at a local brew pub here in Portland. The brainchild of Justin Kistner, these working sessions are as much social gatherings as they are instructional workshops, and that’s how we like them.

Also in attendance were several people I know from Twitter and subsequent first life meetups. Lately, I’ve been test-driving Brightkite, a location-based social network, and so I checked in at the Green Dragon to broadcast my location.

Brightkite sends SMS messages, and a few minutes later, I get a text from Brightkite saying that Don Park wanted to be friends with me. I know Don from various geekups around town, and at the time, he was sitting literally three feet away from me.

But rather than lean over and ask me to friend him on Brightkite, he decided to multi-task and continue his conversation. This cracked me up, and like true geeks, someone (I think it was Nate Angell) suggested that we trace the packets required to make the connection.

Here’s the traceroute.

Traceroute to Brightkite

So apparently, the packets went to Dallas and back in order to connect Don and me while we sat three feet from each other in real life.

Ironic, no?




  1. I've IM'd my wife sitting on the couch next to me in our house. I mean, upstairs to downstairs is totally understandable, but 3 feet away was a little weird…even for true ubergeeks (my wife isn't a geek).

  2. I've done that too, usually up/downstairs though b/c she ignores my voice but IM is way more important, until she discovers it's from me 🙂

    Technology facilitates laziness.

  3. I know it's geeky, but I do think it's funny that your packets couldn't be more aware of your proximity with Don. Seems like @mattking would be working on a solution for geo-aware packets 😉

  4. I love that stuff. I hope to get in the beta program for geo-aware packets. That would actually rock pretty hard.

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