RateItAll has released a white-label location based mobile social networking platform called DoubleDutch. Events organizers, companies that work with multiple locations and others can work with DoubleDutch to offer their patrons a branded check-in app targeted specifically to their use case. You might say that DoubleDutch is to Foursquare what Ning is to Facebook. I think it's a smart effort to make location based social networking more mainstream.Ten year old local business rating company
We caught up with CEO Lawrence Coburn at SXSW and found out how the service works.
DoubleDutch customers get to remove all branding from the apps but their own, they can design custom badges and they can weight their favored geo-location data higher for their app users than data for other locations in a given area. A college could have dorms show up higher on a list of nearby places than bars in an area, for example. Customers also get a tab on the app interface that they can populate with whatever content they choose. Events schedules might be a good fit, I suspect.
RateItAll says it has 5 million business reviews in its database. Coburn hopes that local reviews plus mobile geo-location will equal more meaningful context for both sides of that equation.
If geolocation is truly useful for people other than just geeks, then offering event-specific geolocation apps sounds like a great strategy. Everyday people may have little interest in checking-in to every place they go during real life, but night time events or lunch at a trade show? That makes a lot of sense. If anything's going to make location sharing and check-ins mainstream, custom apps specifically targeted for keeping in touch with your friends at topical events could be it.
In addition to his work on RateItAll and DoubleDutch, Coburn is also co-authoring The Next Web's new sub-blog about location services. You can read a more in-depth interview with him about the service there.