It seems that every new Web site now has a social media angle, whether it needs it or not. Nearly every startup now wants to pump itself up with the new form of digital human growth hormone, trying to take a page from MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, Flickr, TagWorld even the aged Classmates.com. If you can get enough people together and get them interacting with each other, tagging and hanging out, you can find ways to make some money.
Silicon Valley Watcher Tom Foremski profiles a new social networking site, called MingleNow:
This is the overview: people register with MingleNow and say where they hang out, which bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. The site will have a very large national database of nearly every social place. Users will also be able to create their own places such as a corner of a college campus, or a camp at Burningman.
Find out where your friends are congregating, rate friends, rate places, comment on places and menus plan your evenings. It's all part of the great, global human mashup. From you cell phone/PDA find out who is in the neighborhood or at a specific location (bar, club, etc.), find out their ratings, read commments about them, find out their favorite drinks and music, Google them, look at their pictures, mash up with Google Earth for close observation, see who else with similar profiles is in the area, datamine to triangulate potential existing relationships and social behaviors, send out alerts to meet at a certain place and time, make a reservation, order from the menu ahead of time, etc. Content, community, commerce as well as convenience converage, intersecting the digital and real worlds for the IM generation.
While this digital lifestyle scenario on steroids isn't for everyone, it is coming to a theatre or neighborhood near you. The problem is that every social networking/media site is locked on its own island and taking liberal doses of growth hormones to get to scale. As Marc Canter likes to say, "The big data silos need to open up." What if you wanted to integrate your MySpace, Yahoo and MingleNow (if it makes the cut) relationships and data. Where are the standards that make your personal networks portable? Where are the import/export buttons? The social Web could end up as a bunch of cul-de-sacs or the province of a few large and digital steroid crazed behemoths, mirroring the way IT for large corporations evolved...