Virtual plazes become real

The web has always attracted me because of the play between what’s real, virtual, and how one can become the other fairly easily.  While others have framed this much more eloquently than I (eg. Tim Berners Lee on the semantic web), it’s the asynchronous and networked nature of the web that feels the most like our own brains – capable of multiple paths and interlinking, fluid at each moment of our consciousness, and with the potential to make live connections and topical relationships.

Just the other day, I blogged about Plazes, the new location-mapping site.  I had originally found the site through Joi Ito‘s blog, which I’ve been reading for a number of years now.

Today, I’m logged into my plazes page while consulting at Six Apart, and I notice that Joi Ito is showing in my 2km range at the Technorati office on 3rd street, just one block away.  I close plazes to check email and not more than ten minutes later, Joi Ito walks by my desk.

I get home around 6:30, flip open my laptop and my plazes icon is showing I have a message.  I log onto my plazes page again to find a message from Peter, the first person who had commented on my plazes post the other day and who had also blogrolled both Max and I that same day.  We click to see who’s in the 2 km range, and sure enough, Peter is no longer in Canada but at his newly-claimed location, “Hotel Diva” just a few blocks from here, where we’ve also stayed!