Mobile social networks great for places not people

Pic by helloboWhile many are quick to proclaim the coming panacea and opportunities of mobile social networks what is usually left unsaid is that the current state of these services has little to offer for people interested in actual social networking.

What are they good for?

  • Finding your friends on a map
  • Getting insider tips about certain businesses
  • Receiving special offers from local businesses
  • Spamming twitter/FB

Did you see anything about true social networking in that list? Me neither.

This isn’t rocket science, we’ve been socializing and meeting others the same way for 2000 years. We meet people someplace. Emphasis on people not place.

The Challenge

Using Loopt.com, Gowalla.com, or Foursquare.com do one of the following:

  • add an upcoming event
  • create a specific tag/link/badge for an upcoming event that doesn’t interfere with the location data
  • create a way to invite ppl to attend or invite others to join them

Good luck, you’ll need it.

People not Places

Here we are at Web 3.4.7 and none of these big 3 mobile social networks are actually useful unless you’re interested in interacting with places. Does this make sense to anyone? What’s the point of mobile social networks if they can’t be used in a smart way to bring people together?

  • mobile=somewhere
  • social=people
  • network=together

Did I miss something?

I’m all for business promotion and location aware campaigns but shouldn’t I be able to use these tools to invite people to connect in real life?

Are mobile social networks the next big thing?

Yes.

Let’s just hope they remember the social part.

 

P.S. Before you start railing on me for my spamming tw/fb jab let me clarify. If your updates are interesting, entertaining, or you’re inviting others from tw/fb to join you then update away. Otherwise, I could care less if you are the mayor of diddly-squat donut shop, earned a badge, or checked in at Taco Bell, but that’s just me. Remember, notifications are optional, turn the least interesting ones off.

5 responses to “Mobile social networks great for places not people”

  1. Nice! I am actually working on a very, very, very similiar post. 🙂 Great Minds think alike!!!

  2. acgourley says:

    So what do you think that the big 3 should be building instead?

  3. Keith says:

    I think they should look at incorporating features that allow you to create
    events, custom stamps, rewards or prizes, games, the potential is limitless
    but the focus has got to broaden beyond location data.

  4. acgourley says:

    So what do you think that the big 3 should be building instead?

  5. Keith says:

    I think they should look at incorporating features that allow you to create
    events, custom stamps, rewards or prizes, games, the potential is limitless
    but the focus has got to broaden beyond location data.

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