Google Acquires Dodgeball Matt 13 May 2005

16 comments Latest by GOELE

Dodgeball.com, which lets you use your mobile phone to broadcast your whereabouts to your buddies, was acquired by Google this week.

The people at Google think like us. They looked at us in a “You’re two guys doing some pretty cool stuff, why not let us help you out and let’s see what you can do with it” type of way. We liked that. Plus, Alex and I are both Google superfans and the people we’ve met so far are smart, cool and excited about what they’re working on.

Dodgeball clearly has a great hook but I’ve never gotten over the initial hurdle of getting your friends to signup and actually use it. Now that new features and additional funding are in the works it will be interesting to see how it develops.

16 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dan Boland 13 May 05

I’m not so sure I’m sold on the concept. It seems it would just be easier to call your friends than send text to an e-mail address. Plus, what if you don’t want a friend of a friend to know where you are? It seems like the apps that rely on strength in numbers have a much tougher time establishing themselves. Then again, I’m married (so the crush this is out, and kind of silly to begin with) and only hang out with about ten people ever, so this wouldn’t make sense for me anyway…

Eamon 13 May 05

I use Dodgeball like crazy. To answer Dan’s comment: a) it’s infinitely easier to hit the SMS button on my phone and type “@Egan’s” to notify my wife and friends where I’m at, rather than to call each and every one of them, waiting for them to pick up, giving them the address, leaving voicemail, et cetera. And b) if you don’t want people to know where you are, you don’t check in.

That said, there’s definitely some psychological hurdle that some people see that I just don’t get. I’ve got a group of friends who absolutely refuse to make plans ahead of time and are always complaining about who didn’t call who to let them know where everybody else was at, and I just can’t convince a single one of them to try Dodgeball.

Heck, if nothing else, I just love seeing the breadcrumb trail of all the bars I hit the night before.

Dan Boland 13 May 05

Easier maybe, but I guess I’m old-fashioned in the sense that I like hearing a voice on the other end of the phone. Besides, if you send someone a message and say there’s a change in plans that can’t be covered in a Dodgeball message, they’re going to have to call you anyway.

And as far as the psychological hurdle goes, maybe your friends know they’ll never use it, or at least, the only time they’ll use it is when you text them. Again, it’s the strength in numbers problem.

Maybe your life is more exciting than mine, but I just can’t think of a scenario when I’d ever use it. To me, a phone is a phone. It’s not a computer. If I wanted something better, I would have bought a Blackberry. (And on a side note, it isn’t a camera either. I have a camera.) But again, that’s just me.

Eamon 13 May 05

Yeah, I don’t get that mindset, either. The speaking part is useful sometimes, and the SMS part is useful other times. It’s like declaring that you’ll never watch a film on TV because that’s what the movies are for.

As far as the other bells and whistles go, I believe a crappy feature is usually better than no feature, especially when the interface and form factor are nearly identical. Merely posessing a camera is as useless as not having one at all, if it’s not on your person when you need it. Same with a computer, address book, deck of cards, etc. I have an umbrella, too, but it’s not much good to me sitting in my closet.

In any case, my life is clearly no more exciting than yours. I am, after all, posting to SvN.

Dan Boland 13 May 05

In any case, my life is clearly no more exciting than yours. I am, after all, posting to SvN.

LOL!!!!

Adam Codega 13 May 05

I don’t think you have to personally use a tool to be impressed by it, or to understand it’s market. I haven’t used Backpack but I know it’s a tool that’s well designed and will help me if the need arises.

Dmitry Yeskin 15 May 05

Interesting tool, but I can’t use it, I am in europe… :-( Maybe there is a way to use it outside USA?

kelby 15 May 05

if i could work out the funding model, I would be tempted to build one of these for the uk. I already have the sms shortcodes.

danieru 15 May 05

another feather in the cap of Google’s internet homogeny

Tom 16 May 05

homogeny or hegemony?

Wesley Walser 16 May 05

It does seem like an interesting idea, and if all of my friends started using it, I would sign up. This could easially turn into a big thing. With Google behind it, who knows.

GO77 13 Oct 05

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