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Dodgeball.circles is a WAP-based service designed to help people keep tabs on their friends as they hop from place to place on a given night. Using their mobile phones, users can broadcast their whereabouts to "circles" - groups of friends whose cellphones are enabled with SMS messaging capabilities.

To join dodgeball.circles, see Otherwise, a scenario in which circles is used is illustrated below.

  1. Let's say I'm on my way to meet some friends for drinks in the East Village, NYC. As I walk into Luna Lounge, home of the best foosball scene in lower Manhattan, I use my mobile phone to call up's WAP site. I'll select "Circles" to alert my friends to my current whereabouts.

  2. Before this screen even appears, dodgeball has already looked up the caller ID on my phone, matching the phone number to my dodgeball username and then double checking that I am a registered user of the service.

  3. This main circles menu gives me the option to "Check In" (broadcast my location to anyone who happens to be in on of my circles), "View Circles" (allowing me to review who I'm actually sending messages to), or "Send Message" (allowing me to send a quick one-on-one message to a fellow circle member).

  4. After opting to "Check in", dodgeball asks for my whereabouts. I use my phone's keypad to enter the first few characters of the venue's name.

  5. The query is sent back to the dodgeball database and a list of probable matches is returned. All I need to do is to select the appropriate match and hit OK.

  6. As my location is updated in the database, dodgeball queries the users who are members of the circles I have previously joined, grabs their cell phone numbers, and fires off an SMS to each user alerting them of my whereabouts.

7. Within minutes, friends scattered throughout Manhattan start hearing the familiar chirps of their mobile phones. A quick glance at the display will show my exact location in the East Village, often prompting friends who happen to be a block or two away to stop by and say hello.
© 2002 dennis crowley