visiting people in Plazes

Today I was checking my friend Ed Vielmetti’s blog, and noticed that his Plazes gadget on the side of his site had him listed as being at a cafe less than a block away from me. A few days before we had been talking about neighborhood informatics, and having had a few more thoughts on the subject, I decided to wander down to the cafe and see if he really was where Plazes claimed.

I’ve used Plazes a number of times to announce my whereabouts to other people using Plazes, but I’d never really taken any action based on the location information that the service provides by opting to make the face-to-face connection. As I walked through Nickels Arcade and turned on State Street, I was wondering what the social protocol was for going to say hi to someone when you know where they are, but they don’t know that you know they are there… Maybe it is polite to IM them first, and let them know you are stopping by? I decided spontaneous was fun and part of the experiment that is Plazes – and spotting Ed at a table inside, I ducked into the cafe to say hello.