Friday, May 21, 2010

"Excuse me, but are you Alex from Connectify?"

"Excuse me, but are you Alex from Connectify?"

I look up at the man who is holding his cell phone in front himself like a divining rod, "Um, yes, yes I am."

I'm sitting in a hotel lobby in San Francisco, a block away from the Google IO conference.

He smiles, excited, "I was connecting my cell phone to the hotel Wi-Fi, and I saw one the networks was named Connectify-Alex. I thought it might be you, so I walked around, following the signal strength, and it led me right here."

He (who is likely one of you reading this) was a nice guy full of stories about how he uses Connectify, and what features he'd like to see added. Some are in the works, and some of the others are interesting enough that I will take them up with the team when I'm back in Philadelphia.

My question, is whether the way he found me is, in itself, a feature that we should be thinking about. Is the ability to announce your presence through Wi-Fi a feature? Is location based social networking the next big thing?

It's not really a privacy problem. If I don't want to be found I don't have to put both my name and company in the access point name, which is exactly what I had done.