Post(s) tagged with "groupme"
Just as Google had early dominance in lighting up a portion of the web, Facebook has early dominance in lighting up a portion of the world’s social graph. But much like the Dark Web, there exists network upon network not yet graphed by Facebook, waiting to be mapped, organized, and optimized for communication.
This is the unlit social graph, and this is where Facebook is vulnerable.
Let’s talk examples.
For years I have been looking for a solution to the pick-up basketball problem. I have a large-ish network of people that I play hoops with in San Francisco. This network has not yet been lit up by any online service. While most of these people are on Facebook, they are hard to organize as I don’t know many of their last names. And furthermore, even if I did know their last names, I would feel awkward friending them on Facebook, as they’re not really my friends.
It’s a network, but it’s not a friend network, not a professional network, and not a work network. This particular network is a place based network, aligned around various basketball courts in San Francisco.
Over the years, we’ve tried to light up our hoops network, but haven’t been able to find the right tools. We tried Google Groups, but it got overrun by spammers. A Facebook Group set up for this purpose never really got traction.
We tried GroupMe, but the push aspect wasn’t appropriate, it needed to be pull – find ballers when you’re ready to play, not when others are ready to play.
Just last week, I read about a company called Sportaneous that is trying to solve this problem.
Ubiquitous smartphones and always on access to umbrella social graphs are suddenly making these sort of tools possible.
And the opportunity is far larger than pick-up basketball, or even sports. Every school is a network, every employer is a network, every bar is a network, every office building is a network, every hobby is a network, every neighborhood is a network, and at an extreme level, every shared interest is a network, regardless of location.
This doesn’t even get at the disposable, or elastic networks as discussed by companies like Nearverse and Color – people that happen to just be nearby each other for a snapshot of time.
All of these networks share two common characteristics. 1) They are not yet graphed in a mainstream way by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Jive, or any other dominant, online social service; and 2) They are all mappable with a smartphone.
- Lawrence Coburn, The Unlit Social Graph - TNW Location
I am not so sure that the unlit corners of our social networks are all mappable with a smartphone, in some exclusive sense. But I do agree that large parts of the multidimensional social network are unmapped.
PS Can we all agree to stop using the term ‘social graph’? It’s a Zuckebergism, and has no meaning other than what mathematicians, social anthropologists, and other scientists have been talking about for decades as social networks.
So then we would refer to this issue as dark networks.
Web anthropologist, futurist, author. My focus is the future, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating future. (More.)
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