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[APP][2.2+] Catena - Anonymous and location based instant chat

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Jeffail
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(Last edited by Jeffail; 20th February 2014 at 12:14 PM.)
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Default [APP][2.2+] Catena - Anonymous and location based instant chat

--

UPDATE: I've decided to discontinue my work on Catena, the project is too heavily reliant on community, and the time investment required to make it successful was several magnitudes higher than what I could offer. If anyone is interested in continuing this project let me know.

If you're interested in any of my other projects check out my site at: http://www.creepybit.co.uk

--

Catena is an anonymous and location based instant chat client. The main purpose of Catena is to give you an anonymous outlet for calling out to others in your local area and meeting new people, without the burden of identity. Catena lets you chat in a typical instant chat environment, but also lets you post semi-permanent messages on a shared map, for the whole world to see!

Catena is free, there are no user accounts or signing up. The instant you install Catena you are able to chat. For those who need an identity, either to maintain a conversation or single yourself out for others, there is a type of disposable user name that you can change as often as you want. There are also chatroom like tags you can use that make your messages private and only viewable to others with the same tag.

You can find Catena on the Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...?id=Creepy+Bit

I also have a website up with more info at: http://creepybit.co.uk

I started development on this app when I couldn't find an anonymous alternative. I'm a single developer working in my spare time around work, but I'm currently still managing to push out almost daily updates. Catena is currently in Alpha stage, meaning I'm still adding and changing features, and I'm still modifying the server equipment.

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could give this app a go. Catena has been live for a week and I currently have around thirty users. The users I have thus far have given me really great feedback, and I think with some more hard work down the way I can make this a really great app that people will love.
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sigcont
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I have similar idea for Android app. This is good idea, but when not enough people have this app, this is not good working. I wish you more and more downloads!
 
player911
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(Last edited by player911; 27th November 2012 at 09:30 PM.)
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Sounds awesome. This sounds like the Love Section on Craigslist where people say, "Oh I saw this sexy woman at Walmart. Hope to see you again".

It would be great to leave messages up for like a day and be able to show your GPS route. That way, at the end of the day, you could retrace your day and see if anyone left you a note. Like, "To the hot guy sitting at the bar in the blue collared shirt. I think I love you".

I always wanted a personal area chat room.

It could also be used for marketing such as "Burgers tonight are top notch!". Perhaps if things take off, you could sell extended comments that last longer.

I haven't used it yet, but how would this program handle a single place with lots of chatter? Is it a single point on the map that links to a chat room style interface? 1 map point per comment would create clutter. In my mind, a single comment would just be a dot on the map which would open for dialogue. You'd also probably want to allow accessing ANY of those locations on the fly. So if I want to go get dinner at Red Lobster downtown, I can find the location on the map and read the comments left there. Perhaps someone says, "4 hour wait @ 7pm". Or actually having the ability to ask someone that is physically there to put your name on the list, haha.

I can see SO many possibilities for this.

So perhaps you can only START a chat based off your location but you can join ANY. Also it might be a good idea to be able to disable GPS in case someone is at their home and doesn't want anyone to know where they presently are (can't start a convo but can join one). You don't want to hear about how crazies are killing girls using your app. lol


[UPDATE]
I would do away with broadcast messages. Obviously they just annoying and childish. I would just show the dots to let you know there is a comment there, to open up the local chat for that dot. In the future, I would make the broadcasts a paid ad type thing. Like $20 a day... which is super cheap. Even right now, I could broadcast a business and 30 people would instantly see it.

As the app gets more popular, the map will get flooded with broadcasts and you'll be unable to even see the map. Icons should scale with the map. It's ok right now, but again, things may get crowded. You might also think about playing with the idea of making the icons semi-transparent so you can see the underlying map.

At this point I'm unsure how to even find other local chats; if it is even possible at all. All I see from the map are the broadcasts.

I just want to be able to create a chatroom at my GPS location and be able to have others leave comments. Right now, I see several broadcasts, but I can't chat with them. One was about a guy speeding. It would be fun to be able to go in that chat and leave a message like, "There is a guy going slow" or "That was me!"
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Jeffail
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(Last edited by Jeffail; 27th November 2012 at 09:25 PM.)
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Sounds awesome. This sounds like the Love Section on Craigslist where people say, "Oh I saw this sexy woman at Walmart. Hope to see you again".

It would be great to leave messages up for like a day and be able to show your GPS route. That way, at the end of the day, you could retrace your day and see if anyone left you a note. Like, "To the hot guy sitting at the bar in the blue collared shirt. I think I love you".

I always wanted a personal area chat room.

It could also be used for marketing such as "Burgers tonight are top notch!". Perhaps if things take off, you could sell extended comments that last longer.

I haven't used it yet, but how would this program handle a single place with lots of chatter? Is it a single point on the map that links to a chat room style interface? 1 map point per comment would create clutter. In my mind, a single comment would just be a dot on the map which would open for dialogue. You'd also probably want to allow accessing ANY of those locations on the fly. So if I want to go get dinner at Red Lobster downtown, I can find the location on the map and read the comments left there. Perhaps someone says, "4 hour wait @ 7pm". Or actually having the ability to ask someone that is physically there to put your name on the list, haha.

I can see SO many possibilities for this.

So perhaps you can only START a chat based off your location but you can join ANY. Also it might be a good idea to be able to disable GPS in case someone is at their home and doesn't want anyone to know where they presently are (can't start a convo but can join one). You don't want to hear about how crazies are killing girls using your app. lol
Some nice ideas, I'll let you discover it but it's basically the world is just one huge chat room, but you filter the messages you receive by range. So it ends up being a digital "everyone shouts and you choose how far you listen" kind of thing.

If a small area gets really popular and you can't hold a conversation then there are things called Hash Tags. They're basically a short keyword you filter your messages by and it's sort of like joining a chat room. For example I could apply the hash tag "Crime" (like in the screenshot), and it basically means I only see messages from other people with "Crime" and they are the only ones that see my messages.

For the map I'm currently in the process of implementing an upvote system. Messages on the map (I call them Broadcasts) will expire after a certain period, that period is shorter depending on how busy the area is, you can extend the life of a broadcast by 'Bumping' it.

I'd love to add new stuff as I go along. But as it's been said, the key thing I'm lacking is users.
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player911
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Ahhh I see about the "how far you listen" type range thing. Thats fun and all... but really hinders the usefulness.... well let me think, no I guess it wouldn't if you simply picked a restaurant and did a Spoof Location from that area. I would change that and label it as something like, "Chat from here" or something. Also need to intregrate the map better. Maybe have that as the initial screen that users see. It is a pretty map and looks fantastic. Opening the app to just see an empty chat is a let down. I would initially start zoomed out so you can see the surrounding areas and users online. Tap = popup "Chat from Here" button.

Also a slider for chat radius that displays as a blue circle around your location. Having to go into settings to set a number is kind of awkward.

Focus on the map and let users pop in and out of chat as will based on their location.

Broadcasts expiring based on how busy the area is, is a good idea. I had no idea about the bumping. "Bumping" a thread, I get it... but I when I bumped the broadcasts, it didn't do anything. Maybe just a simple vote system like "Was this helpful: -1 and +1". Because honestly most of those broadcasts are retarded. Peeing on the benches? Smelly Town? Sand Vaginas? The community needs to be able to down vote and get rid of those messages as badly as they need to up vote. Regardless of votes, Broadcasts should still naturally go away after a set time. Like broadcasts = 1 hour with 1 day max.

Also the hash tags, perhaps make it more user friendly... such as a button for "Create a Group" or "Join a Group".
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Jeffail
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Ahhh I see about the "how far you listen" type range thing. Thats fun and all... but really hinders the usefulness.... well let me think, no I guess it wouldn't if you simply picked a restaurant and did a Spoof Location from that area. I would change that and label it as something like, "Chat from here" or something. Also need to intregrate the map better. Maybe have that as the initial screen that users see. It is a pretty map and looks fantastic. Opening the app to just see an empty chat is a let down. I would initially start zoomed out so you can see the surrounding areas and users online. Tap = popup "Chat from Here" button.

Also a slider for chat radius that displays as a blue circle around your location. Having to go into settings to set a number is kind of awkward.

Focus on the map and let users pop in and out of chat as will based on their location.

Broadcasts expiring based on how busy the area is, is a good idea. I had no idea about the bumping. "Bumping" a thread, I get it... but I when I bumped the broadcasts, it didn't do anything. Maybe just a simple vote system like "Was this helpful: -1 and +1". Because honestly most of those broadcasts are retarded. Peeing on the benches? Smelly Town? Sand Vaginas? The community needs to be able to down vote and get rid of those messages as badly as they need to up vote. Regardless of votes, Broadcasts should still naturally go away after a set time. Like broadcasts = 1 hour with 1 day max.

Also the hash tags, perhaps make it more user friendly... such as a button for "Create a Group" or "Join a Group".
This is good stuff, I'd love to implement most of this. I'm very close to starting the up vote system so I'm not sure how I'll be doing it yet but I definitely plan to have down voting. Or at least a report button! Thanks for the post!
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samajid
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Love the idea but u might wanna look into integrating facebook n g+ somehow.

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I agree, you need users and you should use social network to get them automatically
 
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How about adding video chat for the devices with front camera?
 
Jeffail
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What kind of social network integration would you want? Something like when you post a broadcast you get to share it on your wall? I'd be tempted to do something like that down the line.

Video chat would be hard because my server bandwidth would struggle to keep up, but I could certainly try adding an easy way to connect to other users and enter some sort of skype room or something.

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