Babbleville takes community-specific internet conversations and narrows them down by geographic location. The user can reach out to local residents based on the community they are currently in. The application works two ways. The first is by allowing the user to post Babbles. Babbles are individual messages that the user posts. Each Babble is tagged with the user’s location (although the user can remain anonymous). Users located in and around the same area can see the inquiry or comment and respond. This allows users to ask specific questions and obtain recommendations and information when living in or visiting an unfamiliar neighborhood. The other side to Babbleville includes the Villes. The Villes consist of message boards that users create for a group, team or organization. Villes are also tagged by location so others in the community can find them and participate. Babbleville is intended primarily for Android and iPhone users.
Babbleville was founded by Paul Chiu in January of 2010. The application was designed to act as a location based message board for mobile phone users. The Babbleville blog is updated by Chiu, who provides users with infrequent updates. The application noted an official public release scheduled for September of 2010. There was some delay that pushed the release further into the month. The application is currently available and functioning with no additional updates noted by Chiu.
Babbleville isn’t much different from a forum thread. What makes the application unique is the location focus. Users can reach out to others in a specific community and ask questions. Although this is not the only location based application out there, it does offer the convenience of iPhone and Android access.
The Babbleville website presents users with a lighthearted green color scheme contrasted by dark grey. The colors give the site a unique personality, which is further detailed by background designs and the stylish logo which features a map marker. A user may feel a bit isolated when they first access their account because the profile page is rather sparsely populated. A row of green tabs run down the left hand side while an orange rating box is nestled in the upper right hand corner. The center presents the user with the content and forms for their current tab amid a sea of white and a light colored background.
A new user can join the Babbleville community by clicking the “Join Now” link on the homepage. The following page presents the user with the registration form. The form requires an email address, password and desired nickname. After clicking the lime green “Join” button at the bottom of the form, the user is asked to provide a street address, city, state and country or their GPS coordinates so the application can tag their location when they post. The user is immediately logged into their account where they can access private messages as well as their Villes and Babbles.
Babbleville is available to all users for free. There are no subscription fees or other expenses associated with using the application. This is a great way to encourage more users to sign up and become active members of the Babbleville community. The application relies heavily on user interaction and participation, so the free access is definitely a good choice. Charging a fee would be asking a bit much, especially since all the responses and information are provided by the users.
Babbleville is a helpful application for Android and iPhone users who would like to learn more about their neighborhood. The application is even more appealing to those who are visiting a new community or moving to a new location. Through Babbleville, the user can find answers to their location based questions and provide others with assistance based on their personal experience and community knowledge.