Gowalla plots new points in Hawaii


POSTED: Friday, November 13, 2009

It's part scavenger hunt, part social media—and totally addicting for those with iPhones or other Web-enabled cell phones.

Introduced earlier this year at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, Texas-based Gowalla is a social media application that allows users to track where they've been using GPS technology. It's like geocaching, in that users rely on GPS units to find specific locations, but instead of searching for actual items, Gowalla provides “;stamps”; in a virtual passport.

The application is also tied to Twitter.com and Facebook.com, which allows you to keep your networks current with what you're up to on Gowalla. Like some other forms of social media, it takes a few attempts to get accustomed to the game, but you'll find yourself reaching for your phone more often once you get the hang of it.

I spent quite a bit of time last weekend traveling around Oahu, checking in at locations other users had already mapped and adding a few new spots of my own. My virtual passport now contains more than 75 stamps, including ones for the V Lounge, Smith's Union Bar, Otto Cake and Kailua Town Pub and Grill (check it out online at www.hsblinks.com/1a7).

Late last week, Gowalla became available to any cell phone with Web access, although the iPhone and Google's Android device are the only officially supported handsets. Learn more at m.gowalla.com ...

CONCERT NEWS: Local promoter BAMP Project is still pushing hard going into 2010. Tickets are on sale now for Mickey Avalon on Dec. 12, M. Ward on Dec. 16 and The Used on Jan. 8, all at Pipeline Cafe. They also announced this week that Shinedown will play Pipeline on March 6; tickets for that show went on sale today ... Also making the trip to Pipeline next year is Japanese singer Hikaru Utada. She returns to Honolulu after visiting a few months ago for a private meet-and-greet; the Pipeline gig is a rescheduled date after Utada canceled a public appearance in May that was supposed to help promote her latest album, “;This Is the One.”; Tickets go on sale tomorrow ... 808shows.com Jason Miller reports that The Aggrolites are tentatively scheduled to play here next month, with shows at Boardriders Kailua on Dec. 10 and NextDoor on Dec. 12. He also posted online about Guttermouth performing at Anna Bannana's on Dec. 12 and Reel Big Fish at Pipeline on March 5 ...

WEEKEND PICKS: Japanese reggae songstress Likkle Mai arrives in Honolulu for a headlining appearance tonight at Pipeline. Doors open at 9 p.m., with opening sets by Humble Soul and Rootikal Riddim; tickets are $25 and $45 at the door ... Tonight also marks the return of the “;FireWater Moonlight Yacht Party”; aboard the Alii Kai Catamaran. Check-in begins at 8:30 p.m. for those 21 and over, with live performances by 82Fifty and Friends of Adam; show your hand stamp at Oceans808 or Pearl Ultralounge after the cruise and you'll get in free. Tickets are $30; call 348-9137 ... “;SKYLiNE”; might be no more, but Flash Hansen and Matty Hazelgrove are bringing back their annual “;Black on Black Party”; to Apartm3nt tomorrow. They won't enforce a cover charge, but you must wear all-black attire to get in ...