Quick overview: Highlight is an app which takes our friends lists in various social services, your interests, your industry, etc. and lets you know when people with similar interests are nearby.
I’m really dubious about this claim on C|Net’s part, starting with their decision to use Scoble as evidence of success (“Robert Scoble has written effusively about it … “) — Scoble seems like on of Google Plus’ dwindling power users, and his decision to stick it out on the Titanic seems to diminish his authority.
The two issues that stand-out to me:
- Battery drain is awful. Its hard enough to maintain decent battery life in the signal black-hole that is Austin, and Highlight dramatically aggravates the issue with constant location use
- There isn’t a clear “what’s next?” The goal is to create meaningful connections with strangers. Finding interesting strangers is certainly a barrier, but Highlight doesn’t completely solve the issue (you still need to get geographically proximate to the people, then recognize them), and there are a host of other barriers to creating the connection.
- I have yet to see anyone actually using Highlight, rather than just experimenting with it.
So, I can imagine certain situations where highlight might be interesting — a new job, or smaller convention where you specifically want to network. But it isn’t an application I can imagine using on a daily basis. It is no Twitter or Foursquare.
All-in-all, this makes me wonder if “winning SxSW” is really meaningful these days.