Blockchalk social network (image from Blockchalk.com)

What is Blockchalk social network? Essentially it’s a private network that seeks to connect you to your neighborhood . From what I’ve seen so far Blockchalk is the essence of what a social network should be. You have the ability to do updates based on your location but in the end it’s really a way to connect your local neighborhood. It allows you to post to your local board or message board without signing in or revealing your location.

Form tips, buying, selling, complaining, and connecting. I guess you could liken it to your local hosted call in radio station where you can talk about the mayor, potholes, local restaurants, local watering holes, local attractions, things to watch out for–well just about anything.

In their own words:

Neighbors are using BlockChalk to borrow, buy, sell, trade, report, praise, complain, connect and more. As we keep building BlockChalk to be the world’s neighborhood bulletin board we want to make sure posting remains dead simple and super fast.

I’ve installed the App on my Iphone but unfortunately there wasn’t anybody in my local area. The good thing is I did get to be first–which I clearly noted as FIRST!. I did like the ease of use, the fact that it was simple and it does exactly what it says. I was a little confused by the icons at first but once I understood the concept this app really is something I got excited about.

Sometimes Being Anonymous is Fun

Why? Well let’s take this apart a bit. With Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare you essentially have to be yourself. Not that there is anything wrong with that, on one level this is great. But on another… such as connecting people, sharing things, and putting stuff out there I believe it still hinders us. When you give the people the ability to share by being anonymous I believe this drives to more interactivity and information. Yes it also drives to the lowest common interaction and conversations but it still tends to drive people to share in ways they wouldn’t ordinarily do if not anonymous.

Will It Go Mainstream?

This service to me has a better chance of going mainstream than Foursquare or Gowalla. No matter the amount of special offers or arm twisting that you do I just don’t see mainstream adoption of Foursquare or Gowalla. Now if I’m at my local coffee shop and I do an update on Facebook and it asks me if I want to tag my location–this might have legs. Once again though you can track it back to me. Which is fine but as we have seen with the latest privacy flack towards Facebook I think a lot of people would opt-out.

Your Primal Mind and Location

With Blockchalk you don’t have as big or any privacy issue. I believe people want to be social. Also people want to be social in their local area. But I think what crosses the line for a lot of people is being social locally and losing privacy. Suddenly understanding that anyone anywhere can track you down to a square block kicks in your deep primal instincts. The same instinct that tells you that you are in danger. The same one that controls your fight or flight mode.

When you use Foursquare for any amount of time you start realize that you are creating a crisscrossing pattern of check-ins that essentially create a giant asterisk centered right where you lay your head down at night. I believe this doesn’t sit well with a large overwhelming percentage of the population.

The Future of Blockchalk

This new network or application just recently got a seed funding round and is also looking to hire. Also new to the team as a co-founder is Josh Whiting who has a background both with Craigslist and del.icio.us. In reading their blog they seem very genuine and down to earth. The only thing that isn’t quite clear is the business model but I’m assuming because they have gotten some well known venture backers this is something they are working on.

The only risk here is how they are able to stem any abuse and keep the service focused on it’s core mission as it grows its user base. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out to be an bad version of craigslist only built for a smart phone–but right now I am rooting for them to do some great stuff.