Creating Serendipity Platforms From the Social Layer
A company called Shaker won TechDisrupt. In the setting of a virtual bar scene, Shaker leverages Facebook data and connections, prompting you about common interests and common friends, raw materials to potentially spark connections with new friends. I played with it for an hour, wandering around the virtual socialscape. I have no idea how Shaker is going to do, but the underlying thesis is fascinating.
Social is great for connecting with old and new friends (Facebook) or transactional interactions (Linkedin). Existing social is more helpful for tightening the bonds that we already have, but less helpful for broadening our circles by facilitating serendipitous encounters like meeting someone at a cocktail hour or a friend’s party where we might click with someone’s personality or worldview or the deep networking where we connect with a person’s vision, ideas, or worldview. While the existing social networks are not great at facilitating these serendipitous encounters, the raw material for creating those encounters is now there in social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin which have details about our interests, experiences, the ideas we find compelling, etc.
What if you could leverage that existing social network data via platforms that facilitate serendipitous encounters, in effect turning the social layer into platforms for facilitating those types of interactions that really broaden friend and compatriot circles. What if you had access to this data in real-time to figure out who you should be connecting with in real-life encounters. More on some potential implementations on this in forthcoming posts.