Social shopping with the anti-social

8thBridge says it has figured out a way to engage the anti-social
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

Social shopping has very little appeal to me and I don't see much of a business model, but maybe that's just me.

However, if there are any social shopper enthusiasts among my readers, you'll be able to evaluate the value of today's Graphite 2 announcement from Minneapolis, MN based 8thBridge:

8thBridge today released Graphite 2, a revolutionary new social commerce technology that dramatically expands how friends can shop together in two major ways:

- Social engagement for the anti-social. Graphite 2 can get non-sharing users (the majority of us) to engage socially by enabling fun Pinterest-like shopping experiences on retailer and brand websites.

- No users left behind. Brands can use Graphite 2 to integrate both ecommerce sites and marketing campaigns socially so that user-generated content, for example "My Fall Fashion Board" can live online, long after a marketing campaign ends.

The idea of "Social engagement for the anti-social" is intriguing. That could be a killer technology on its own -- if it works.

Knowing my anti-social friends it'll take a lot more than a "Pintrest-like" experience to engage them. Possibly being able to burn down a virtual shopping mall might interest them.

How about an augmented reality app for your smartphone? You are stuck in a shopping mall with your friend because you don't want to be seen as anti-social all the time. But to amuse yourself, while you wait, you can point the phone camera at a shop and the screen will offer options on how to destroy it, and then animate the result. And you can share it with friends. It might even gradually turn people more social.

An augmented reality Voodoo doll app would be a very nice addition, too, with real spells. Where's the next hackathon? 

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