Dopplr-ing / Friend Conferencing?

I scan a lot of stuff via my networks, news readers, twitters, email… mostly it is just a humongous pile of disconnected bits, and sometimes, sometimes, strands come together to make sense.


  • In the way back, the way way back of human memory storage I recall Ewan McIntosh writing about some new tool he was excited about called dopplr… I did not even recall what it did, but I get so much useful info out of his blog, that his mentioning of it registered something in my brain.
  • About a week or so ago, another colleague I respect very much, Scott Leslie wrote some tweets and a blog post wondering if there was some web.0 tool that would make it easy to see what conferences colleagues in his net work were attending in the future. He took a stab at upcoming.org but was unsure if that did what he was aiming for.
  • That got me thinking about a way I had mapped my travels since 2003— IndyJunior was an early Flash application that could read data from an XML file and dynamically map it. My implementation was to create a new XML file for each year, and my custom PHP script uses a menu to pass the XML to IndyJunior. This is pretty much Web 3.14159265 as it is tedious to look up coordinates of places and manually edit XML. But Scott prompted me at least to get my 2008 travels posted.


  • And then today, a small event clicked it all. I was actually searching / reading/ wandering elsewhere, and I saw someone’s blog who had a little dopplr badge that pretty much said where that blogger was today.

And wham! It all clicked! It seemed like dopplr was the tool Scott might be looking for and one that would be much better for me to do what I had done with IndyJunior. So I hopped over to dopplr.com, created an account, and found it quite easy to add my trips.

It did an ok map, but it is strange that the pins don’t provide any info when clicked:


I like the sidebar widget it provides


the only missing thing is that dopplr is seemingly intent to really shine when you establish contacts, and I’m still sorting out how to do that (you cannot see someone else’s dopplr unless they let you….”

I’m still toying with it, but the best part is how this disjointed events came together. If anyone wants to trade dopplr’s let me know – mine is at http://www.dopplr.com/traveller/cogdog

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I think I’m choconancy on Dopplr

    I thought it would help with intersections, but something is missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It is very one to one. Dja know what I mean?

    Hope the run went well today.

  2. Too funny! And here we have people who are so concerned about putting private information on websites in fear of ‘big brother’ gathering too much information. Here’s this wonderful app that encourages us to do just that. BTW, love the widge, I now know when you won’t be home. Just leave the key under the doormat and I’ll help myself to whatever.

  3. Hey Alan, dopplr is interesting but it is kinduv different than I was talking about. Upcoming.org does exactly what I was talking about (has conference listings and allows you socialy to find who else is going, and find new conferences based on what friends are doing). My fear with upcoming was more around the lack of traction it had.

    But dopplr is interesting because it is not based solely around conferences. In an ideal world one could get the confluence of both dopplr and upcoming, so that one could connect with others around events, but people not going to events could also easily suss out that you were going to be in their city and thus hook up with you. In any case, good find, I will try it out. Cheers, Scott

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