by Idris Mootee

The
idea of mobile social networking first came to my mind three years ago
when I was traveling with my colleague Keith Liu from Dulles after
meeting with AOL. I was preparing a speech for an upcoming conference
on "social computing". We talked about the business idea of launching a
dating service based on some social network ideas and location-based
services. We were so excited and thought that it'd be a killer idea to
use a cell phone as a device for matching that's linked to a social
network database. Imagine you walking into a Dean and De Luca and your
cell phones scan the database and prompt you how many people there are
your type. You can instantly check their profile and decide whether you
want to send them a short message.

Keith even came up with the name "Ping" for the business. I love
that name. We never had the time to make that happen and we're all busy
with clients' work. The idea came back to me yesterday when I was
organizing my folders getting ready for a "start-up mode".

Mobile social networks will ultimately take over the MySpace of the world. David S. Hachen,
an associate professor of sociology at the U of Notre Dame who conduced
research on cell phone usage and its effects on people's relationships.
He found out that cell phone networks tend to be a reflection of
friendship networks. "Friendship networks," he said, "tend to be larger
in younger groups, but they have weaker ties with those they talk with.
But as they get older, the networks are smaller and they have stronger
ties." Some suggest that cell phones will ultimately replace
face-to-face contact. It's too early to tell.

I still think there's still plenty of opportunities to come up with
innovative new services around mobile social networks. What we need is
an open protocol for social networks which allows social networks to
talk to each other through a central identity that one can own and
manage. That's no small task. Here I updated a presentation that I used
a while back and I wish it will spark some new ideas for you. Who
knows, that may inspire you for your next $100 million idea. Enjoy the
weekend.

A new player is Kadoink which
is a mobile social network that lets people share media, calls, and
messages with their friends. The site is currently in private beta.
Kadoink has already raised $2 million in seed funding. How it works? It
operates through a series of short code commands that you can text to
Kadoink, in order to send or receive information. One good thing about Kadoink is the capabilities of doing everything you need to do within
the network with these short codes, via SMS, not having to rely on the
set up or configuration on the web. that's a smart move. That means you
can make groups, send out text or voice blasts, share images and
videos, send private messages to other users, and receive the updates
from users you're following. Texts and calls can also be scheduled.
Nicknames are used as an alias for users, to protect people's privacy.
They have also created an interactive widget "mini-page" that users can
place on their blogs or social networking profiles, watch out for this
little start-up.

Original Post: http://mootee.typepad.com/innovation_playground/2007/08/mobile-social-n.html

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