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Location-based networking, using your cell phone to notify others of your current location so that they meet up with you (for God knows what), is beginning to take off. This is a spin off of the Twitter and Facebook geographic networking phenomenon. So what’s the difference?

With geographic networking you are networking with others in the same city or area. For instance, Facebook has local groups you can join that are based on the city in which you live. It’s one way to use Facebook and has worked well for many small businesses. Twitter, too, has been used for geographic networking.

Location-based networking takes this concept one step further. You can narrow your location down to a specific point within your city and let others know where you are right now. You can then hook up, make a connection, hang out, or whatever it is you choose to do based on your networking. So what’s the benefit?

Actually, there are a number of benefits. If you’ve been following someone on Twitter and you know they are in the same city as you then you find them on Foursquare, one of the many location-based social networking sites to emerge, and you see that they are just around the corner from you having lunch, you could send them a quick message, “Mind if I join you?” Your networking then has just taken on a new dimension. You’ve met in person.

Of course, this can happen in other ways as well. Meetup groups allow local Twitterers to connect in a similar fashion, but usually as a group. With Foursquare you can hook up with a contact one on one. It might mean the difference between closing that sale and letting one slip through.

ChannelWeb lists eight other location-based social networking sites (besides Foursquare). While the idea hasn’t exactly caught on yet, it’s just a matter of time before it does. Are you poised to be there?

Try these eight location-based networks and see what happens.

  • Brightkite
  • Citysense
  • GyPSii
  • MobiLuck
  • Loopt
  • Plazes
  • Whrrl
  • iPling

And, of course, don’t forget about Foursquare. Take your local social networking one level deep.

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