Back in May, AYM Network reported that Google bought Dodgeball, the cellphone-based social networking service. When Dodgeball users go out to some social venue such as a bar or a club, they text message Dodgeball stating their location. Then, people on that person's friends list will be notified via text messages from Dodgeball that their friend is at that venue. Friends of friends within 10 blocks of that venue will also be notified of that user's presence. There are even more advanced features such as a "crush list" that people can maintain, but you can read all about that on Dodgeball's site.
Well, as soon as AYM Network reported Google's Dodgeball acquisition, we were the first ones (or at least one of the first ones) to predict that the logical step would be to integrate Dodgeball with Google Maps. Well, they've finally done it.
Yes. We predicted it. That's why you read this site. It is now possible to track your friends visually provided that they don't mind telling everyone where they are. Although many might find this a little creepy, broadcasting your location to your friends has always been the purpose of Dodgeball. Now it just has the slick, visual interface of Googlemaps.
On a side note, they've also introduced Dodgeball Chat which creates text-message based chatrooms. Basically, it's a Dodgeball version of txtmob.com except I personally have a feeling that Dodgeball chat will be used much more. That way, if five of your friends are trying too coordinate meeting up somewhere (say, at Disneyland for example), people can broadcast text messages to a specific group of friends, and anyone in that group of friends can instantly reply to everyone in that same group. Hopefully, people will start using this in a real-world gaming context. AYM Network is already drawing up plansâ€¦
Last but not least, more predictions. Dodgeball can up the ante by going completely overkill and doing Dodgeball Google Earth. It is completely unnecessary, but the port from Google Maps should be easy enough. Also, Google really needs to buy Upcoming.org so we can just check into venues by RSVPing on that site. Upcoming already tracks event attendance as well as venues. Upcoming and Dodgeball are a match made in Google Heaven.
If only Google bought Flickr before Yahoo did...