The Banjo app is downloading to my iPhone as I write this. I haven’t used it yet, but I like how it helped Andy Stettler gather information during a breaking story earlier this month for The Reporter in Lansdale, Pa.
I’ve blogged frequently about using Twitter’s Advanced Search function to find people in your community who are tweeting about a news incident. But Banjo finds people who are using social media nearby, even if they aren’t using the keywords that might show up in tweets about the incident.
In the story Andy was working on, a bomb scare at a shopping mall, he found someone who had just checked in at the King of Prussia Mall on Foursquare. Andy tweeted at him, asking if he was seeing anything. The person tweeted back that the Apple Store was packed and he hadn’t seen anything. So Andy was able to report that the whole mall was not being evacuated, a few minutes before he was able to reach a mall official to provide more detail.