App to change the future

This is an article about a new mobile app called Forecast. It works like the Four Square app that allows people to communicate to each other where they are and what they are doing. In this case, Forecast allows people to communicate where they will be and what they will be doing. What I find most interesting about this app is that it can act like an informal invitation but by using a different medium such as the “check in” on Facebook it shifts how people respond and engage with it. The CEO Rene Pinnelel explains, “the special thing about the future is that it hasn’t happened yet, which means you can change it.”

The article draws a comparison with real-time advertising that Google take advantage of when someone is searching:

“It’s the reason that Google makes so much money off of search ads. When advertisers can reach people at a time they are making a decision, like searching for a dentist or declaring their desire to go out for pizza, they can influence that decision. Targeted deals and suggestions for complementary activities are both business models that work nicely with the future checkin.”

I thought this was a cool way to get people more engaged because it does require any sort of commitment. It literally just “throws it out there” and more people might feel inclined to head to something they see other people they are friends are already planning to do. It’s like the Abilene Paradox to getting people engaged.

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