San Francisco, California – The founders of Blockboard, a new iPhone app, mean to re-introduce the boundaries of physical geography to the internet. By moving away from the anonymity of anywhere, anyone, they hope their “mobile bulletin board” will stimulate a lot of local conversation and action. Blockboard currently exists as an iPhone app only (with Android planned) that can be used by residents of San Francisco’s Mission District (with other neighborhoods planned) to post issues, thoughts, lost dogs, announcements, etc. The app verifies your location through your phone’s geo-location.
Blockboard is a second iteration project initially called Block Chalk. In this hyper-local application, the designers emphasize their learnings that people want to be known by their real names; they want to ask each other questions; and, they want their observations to be noticed – not just by city officials, but by their neighbors and friends.
Currently utilized by a few hundred people, Blockboard is aiming to become the Facebook of the Mission (or any other neighborhood), whereby neighbors are re-acquainted and “social networks” are more locally meaningful. By integrating with 311 (non-emergency issue reporting) services, Blockboard is relevant at both the personal and societal scale. If it takes off here (and it just might, given the number of iPhones I've seen around), you might see it in your neighborhood soon.