It seems that more and more use of the internet pulls us each away from face-to-face contact with each other. Using the new Slam service from Microsoft on your Smartphone could help you stay connected and meet new friends. Find some like-minded people at the local bar or connect with others at conferences and see if this social networking tool helps bring us closer together.
We don't always spend all our time working or working on the go and like to relax and hang with friends and family after hours. I participated in the Seattle Mind Camp event earlier this year and enjoyed the discussion around social networking tools on mobile devices. A representative from Microsoft was there showing off a cool tool for Windows Mobile Smartphones and I just read on the::unwired that Slam is now available worldwide for U.S. and Canadian customers to try out. Slam stands for Social, Location, Annotation, and Mobile.
Slam is a research project from the Microsoft Research Community Technologies Group and is designed to make it easier to stay in touch with those people in your personal network. Slam uses HTTP to post messages to the server and also has a SMS leg for those without a compatible Windows Mobile Smartphone. I am testing it out on my Samsung SGH-i320 and it works well. I joined the local Seattle group and also started a public group for anyone going to MacWorld 2007 in San Francisco. Slam also allows you to start and join private groups for your friends or family members. You can share messages and photos with your groups, as well as seeing the location of the people in each group you are a member of if you have a specific Smartphone and live in the Puget Sound area. The location functionality will be expanded in the future. Make sure you have an unlimited data plan before activating your Slam membership. You can check out the About page for all the details of this new social networking experiment.