Over beers, wine and an ambitious spread that included someone’s favorite hors d’oeuvres, pigs in a blanket, founder Mark Howells unveiled the beta version of his CrowdStitch app at a release party at the Fitzgerald on Saturday night.
CrowdStitch, which Howells describes as a “Twitter hashtag on steroids,” creates a pop-up social network for attendees at events using geo-location programming. Much like sending out tweets, people logged on to CrowdStitch talk with one another through the app. But because Howells’ app is a closed social network used only by event-goers, none of the other clutter from a Twitter feed comes with it. In addition, event organizers can run promotions, contests and surveys from within the app.
As comes with technical unveilings, there were some hiccups to start, with the app running slowly, on both iOS and Android smart phones. And it appeared to harbor a dislike of commas, deleting them each time I tried a post that included that particular type of punctuation.
But about an hour into the beta release, around 8 p.m., some modifications made on the server-side of the app had CrowdStitch running smoothly, achieving its overall purpose: providing about 20 attendees with a mobile chat room to talk about the crab balls and the series of short films Howells showed in the Fitzgerald’s first-floor movie theater.
Howells says he and his team will use October to fix the kinks, one of them being the app’s insatiable thirst for iPhone battery life. CrowdStitch is back in action at Tech Night in November, the annual celebration of the Baltimore area’s tech scene, put on by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.
CrowdStitch is also a member of GBTC’s On Ramp accelerator.