BlockChalk, an unusual location based service that has yet to launch publicly but will focus on allowing users to post messages to their neighbors, announced today that it has hired Ian Kallen, an engineer who helped build high-profile blog search engine Technorati for 5 years.
Kallen said of the BlockChalk team, "their vision coincided with my long-standing interests in virtual communities and bringing them to real communities." The small startup was founded in late 2009 and includes former Delicious engineers Josh Whiting and Stephen Hood and was funded by Delicious founder Joshua Schachter, among others.
Technorati was once one of the most important companies in the emergence of social media: indexing, searching, categorizing and ranking the wildly disruptive world of blogs. Kallen helped build that system from 2004 through 2009, when it began to go downhill fast. The former blog search marvel is now mostly an advertising network.
BlockChalk has been closely watched not just because of its founding team and backers, but also because it has been quite public pre-launch about the general outline of its work, including a discussion this Summer about lessons the company learned in raising funds.
The company calls itself "a bulletin board in your pocket" and though public reaction to simple early tests has so far been lukewarm, the company must have some interesting things being prepared behind the scenes in order to continue making such interesting hires.