Competitive Review

Story Forest and its Competitors

Story Forest and its Competitors

Most of the popular location-based services such as Gowalla and FourSquare serve as middlemen to 3rd party vendors and their users. With these type of services, there isn’t much emphasis on the exploration of past memories, but more on what other people are doing. These services rarely encourage users to reflect on previous events.

Services that are more similar to Story Forest such as Path, Broadcastr, and Trover seem to fall flat at some point. For Path, people can take geo-tagged photos and can also leave comments for users. One con about this service is that all your memories are accessible to you, whether it’s through a mobile device or a desktop. This lack of inaccessibility creates an oversupply of data to users.

Broadcastr is a service that lets you geo-tag audio recordings at different locations around the world. One pro about this site is that it’s one of the few sites that utilizes the power of voice to convey personal narratives. One con is that not everyone wants to hear everyone. Case and point, Twitter’s Trending Topics.

Introduced to me by Liz, Trover is a narrative and location-based service by a former grad student, Dan Provost. One good thing about this app is that it informs the user about memories that have happened at certain locations over time. One con (a major one), is the lack of options for the type of content a user could leave behind.

Overall, these services fulfill some aspect of Story Forest. One thing I noticed is that most, if not all, of these services fail to create a narrative around the idea of posting or viewing photos. On top of that, with the exception of Path, these services are competing for heavy user traffic. This approach generally dilutes the target audience, which in turn makes their solution like everyone else.

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