diamond geezer

 Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Every so often an online service comes along that I can't praise highly enough. Here's one. An interactive venture you can't afford to miss. A new way to keep track of your acquaintances in a virtual world. The pocket-sized design tool that'll transform the way you meet up with friends.

I'm talking about onesquare.com, the anti-social network.

The underlying principle is simple, but perfect. Onesquare is a mobile application that makes neighbourhoods easier to hide in. It is a friend-avoider, a guide for introverts and a game that challenges users to avoid new things. Onesquare lets users "check in" to a place when they're there, but to pretend they're somewhere else. It keeps track of where they've been and who they've haven't been there with. It rewards users for going solo. Simply stated, Onesquare is the interactive network for non-interactive people. What's not to love?

It's so easy to use. Just download the Onesquare app to your mobile phone, log in, and you're up and running. So many places not to go, so many people not to see.

You can check in from parks, bars, museums, restaurants, libraries...really anywhere. Obviously parks and bars aren't the best idea, because they tend to be full of outgoing extroverts. Museums are better, so long as you find a quiet one, or one of those dull rooms on the second floor where nobody goes. Restaurants are probably best avoided, because they're social places where single people look very much out of place. But libraries are good, very good, as are deserted beaches, windswept moors and of course "staying at home".

When you check in, Onesquare automatically determines your precise location using patented GPS-snoop technology. Don't worry, it won't let other people know where you are. Onesquare takes your privacy so seriously that it automatically generates a random location somewhere with a 100 mile radius, then broadcasts that fuzzy location instead. There's no danger of anyone meeting up unannounced for a chat or a coffee, because that would be simply ghastly.

Onesquare awards you points based on your unadventurousness. If you're the only person at your chosen location, you score! And if you've been alone somewhere more than anyone else you'll be crowned the "The Hermit" of that place. Hermitships are based on the greatest number of solitary check-ins during the past 60 days. Look out though - if someone else comes along who's even more reclusive than you, they'll steal the "Hermit" title back from you.

And there are badges to be won too! Badges are little rewards you earn based on your lonesome habits (for example going fishing, playing lots of computer games, frequenting too many mountain-tops). We're constantly adding new badges, such as the Troglodyte for hiding underground, the Outcast for deleting ten friends from your Onesquare profile, and the Isolationist for checking in more than a mile from the nearest human being. Then there's the extra-special Housebound badge, which every user starts off with but surrenders the minute they step outside their front door.

Best of all, you can sign up right now because you're already a member. Onesquare is inextricably linked to other social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, so it already knows who you know and where you are. Yes, every Onesquare account comes pre-populated with location-based inertial widgets, because it's been plotting your lack of activity for months. Simply validate your profile and you too could be anti-social online within minutes.

Why not join me on Onesquare right now? But please don't check in anywhere nearby, because I'm on target to be SuperSchizoid by Friday and I don't want anyone else coming close.

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