If it’s time for night on the town, you’re probably going to leave your BlackBerry behind. Who needs work email when you’re at the pub or clubbing? Buzzd aims to change that, as it’s a mobile social network that aims to show you what’s cool just where you are.
GPS and wireless location make the latest BlackBerrys ideal local search tools. They know where you are, and they’ve got the Internet access you need to find, well, just about anything. Buzzd uses your device’s location to come up with a list of places and events near you. Where it differs from other local search applications is that it allows you to post a Buzz about a place or an event – showing other Buzzd users just what’s happening right now, along with whether it’s a “thrill” or a “kill”.
Buzzd is certainly easy to use. It’ll try and locate you automatically, and then gives you three options: Go Places, See Events, and Buzz Now. Each is a slider, so click on the appropriate section of screen to open up a list of what’s cool near you. We were disappointed with the selection of places and events for London – a copy of Time Out would have been a lot more useful in finding the cool hot spots.
The built-in search tools weren’t much better, and a search for London sushi restaurants missed many favourites nearby in South West London in favour of more central establishments. The events listing is also quite odd, favouring places like the Hammersmith Apollo and the Royal Albert Hall over more local gigs.
Voting for what’s cool is an interesting idea, but at the moment there don’t seem to be many UK users (Buzzd also runs on Nokia and iPhone), so there’ve not been many votes for places or events. That’s a pity, as the real benefit of Buzzd is the social filter that a community provides, with real people voting on real places. A big database is important for that, and when important venues are missing, it becomes hard to justify installing applications like this.
A small UK community and an incomplete set of listings make it hard to recommend Buzzd fully yet. It’s certainly an interesting idea, but it really needs a set of committed users before it becomes successful. You might find it useful in New York, but it’s not ready for London yet.
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Website/Demo: Buzzd website