TownFlier Launches (and Launches…) Local Suite

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I intended to introduce you to a TownFlier, a freshly minted Maryland-based startup that morphs mapping with neighborhoods with communications. But before I could got the words down the swift developers over there cranked out several somewhat derivative, or complementary, sites all spinning from the beta TownFlier.

But I’ll start where I was in the first place.

TownFlier: Imagine an online mailing list (listserv) your neighbors can join then flip the visual so you’re seeing a fly-over view, then by clicking on a home “claimed” by a neighbor you can get info on them, message them and soon lots more. All communication also gets catalogued in a scrolling list of neighborhood missives along the left side of the browser window. Pretty targetable grouping of people for advertisers, no?

GroupFlier: Moving along, Morris Panner (TownFlier’s lead) and his team have launched a nifty tool that lets you create mailing lists pretty easily – as in one, two, three. Why does this matter? For you smugly Web-savvy out there it may not. But for most people, the benefits of something as old as listservs are lost on them – with GF anyone can easily create a newsletter that keeps everyone in the neighborhood (or wherever) a mail away.

LocalDock: Ever wanted to geobrowse for eBay deals? Sure you have… Just cruise an online map surveying your territory and see who’s selling what and then zoom in to make a deal? LocalDock has mashed maps and eBay deals to allow just that. It’s certainly not the first Web app to do it but time will tell if it ranks among the best. Now this is pretty cool. While also not unique, it’s still a nice tool allowing anyone to quickly get a fix on the whereabouts of friends or family. Use the simple interface to email your friend (make sure they answer it on their iPhone), the mail pops a link that grabs your friend’s location and beams it back to the requestor’s email. Works well on the iPhone, though it does not grab actual address; we tried it in the Chrome browser and the location accuracy was about a quarter mile. Accuracy is within meters when the iPhone’s in the mix.

Cool for lost relatives, locating kids or, ahem, husbands. But more interesting than the piece parts, including, is the collective. These various tools if brought together make a pretty nice package. We’ll be watching closely to see what else comes from the TownFlier factory. We like location toys. (Disclosure: I’ve spoken with Panner in the past and given advice on his product.)












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