LIFE & STYLE

Celebrations Of Place Anchor Free-Floating Internet

By Patrick May
San Jose Mercury News.

The Internet has fallen in love with place.

From wildly popular Instagrammers like the photographer behind Humans of New York, to globe-trotters leaving digital travel notes on the story-sharing site Findery, to cloud-based services that help brands pitch themselves through location-based storytelling, the digital masses have discovered the thrill of writing about where they’re at.

With social media applications that let us share real-time stories about places we love, live or linger in, users are adding a new layer of intimacy to their online experience while tapping into their inner raconteur.

“Our increased sense of isolation that technology has helped create is making the physical reality of place that much more important,” said Silicon Valley author Andy Smith, who has written about using social media to create good in the world.

“This trend of telling and sharing stories from real places is like a counterbalance to the placelessness of our online world.”

The irony is rich: While we increasingly inhabit an online world that seems to be both everywhere and nowhere, we’re using the same technology to celebrate actually being somewhere.

“There’s a new appreciation for the here and now,” said Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr whose new startup, San Francisco-based Findery, links people around the world by letting them share “notes,” or mini-dispatches, from wherever they are.

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