Suppose two people are almost but not quite 1km away from each other and are having a conversation on there. To a third person who has one of these people in range, but not the other, the messages might seem quite confusing and/or they might feel addressed even though they are not.
A possible solution might be to define fixed cells of roughly 1km in diameter instead of using immediate neighbourhoods centered around every participant.
Or you could dynamically create rooms and you are added to the closest one to you (up to some maximum size)? The latter might also help with getting any users at all in less densely populated areas.
What would happen would be that people would just communicate as best they could, and occasionally ask people to rely what they were saying in a general direction.
Of course, with a very limited world and a communication range of about 1/4 of the north-south distance of that world, relaying was pretty easy.
There were other in-game ways to send and receive messages, but none were nearly as convenient as this one. The real world, however, has plenty of convenient communication methods.
Yik Yak took the "cells" or "herds" approach. Some history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yik_Yak
I'm not sure how you're going to avoid the same issues that Yik Yak faced.
"Ambient social networking" isn't new, but it's never taken off. Some reading:
It would be nice to at least leave a message in my area, so future users can see it.
(At least Chrome and Firefox can use this system; I'm no sure about the other browsers)
Frankly the 1km radius is not a good idea, it will flood messages in crowded area, and display none in others.
I was thinking about getting around that feast or famine scenario by encoding the user location as a geohash. And then chop off one char of precision from the end of the hash string on successive DB queries until a large enough group of people were included. Nice and easy to store and query the location as a plain string in the DB, too. Although - I was trying to figure out what to do about Greenwich near me, as that's where the most significant bit alters because of the prime meridian.
Such a change would make the tool a lot more useful in areas like mine.
I don't think anyone will just stay connected alone in the hope that someone else may connect later.
My idea was to provide a way to augment reality, add context to your location, see what other people that were there before said, sort of like a virtual message in a bottle.
On Firefox on desktop, clicked "yes" when asked to share my location.
Maybe it's a problem with the decimals in 3.0423598999999997?
And although I still think it could be a very valuable type of platform it is extremely hard to build the right community with enough critical mass. Best of luck! And if you ever want exchange experiences I'd be happy to help.
How do I know when the other messages I'm seeing were posted? Maybe those people have long gone and I have no idea I'm talking into thin air.
I haven't launched it yet though. My goal is not a YikYak clone but an issue/karma tracker for real-world interaction.
Posting into that is just as easy.
Made this a bit more fun since no one was around for me.
If interested please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org); I would like to donate to you the domain name "hackers.express".