Sunday, 3 October 2010

Create your own location based social network

Why would you want to have your own location based social network?
  • Own a network which helps 10,000's of people mingle without having to organise them
  • Create topics of conversation among them
  • Promote your own services relevant to them
  • Increase the bond between users and your website
  • It's free

Example

There are 240,000 French ex-pats in London.

How many of them want to hang out with other French ex-pats in bars across the city without having to organise it? How many would like the opportunity of meeting other French ex-pats for friendship, relationships or finding flatmates any time they walk out of the door. Even at 20% we are talking about nearly 50,000 people with an interest in mingling and meeting others.

Let's, for a moment, say that all 50,000 were encouraged to come out on a Thursday night and gather together in bars across the city. The problems in organising this traditionally are enormous. However, it can now be done by creating a location based network for those 50,000 people to organise themselves on that night and every other night.

How?
Using smart phones and check-ins. For those that don't know, it's possible to open up an internet site or app and find a list of all nearby venues. You then click the 'I'm here' button to check-in to your own venue which can then broadcast that check-in to all others using the same site.

The first few dozen ex-pats check into bars across central London. Others arriving can see, on their mobiles, how many people are checked into each bar near them. They also check into those bars. The numbers increase over the course of the night until you have concentrations of ex-pats within specific bars. If one bar gets too full then they over flow into an adjacent bar and check in there.

The advantages for a user are:
  • You can come out any night and meet other ex-pats without planning
  • You are not forced to go to any one venue, you have a choice of dozens
  • You can walk in and know what you have in common with every other ex-pat via tags
  • You can use a two-way mutual 'hi' to break that final hurdle of starting a conversation
Not everyone has a smart phone but a growing percentage do. Soon, especially due to the reduced cost of these phones, the majority will own one. The simplicity of these sorts of networks in helping people meet means they are inevitable.

French ex-pats is one example. What other groups of people can I create a network for?

Flatmate seekers - hang out with others also looking for flatmates
New in town - don't know anyone? Meet others in a similar situation and make friends fast
Greenwich locals - create a network for each local area for those locals to use
Start-up networking - find fellow entrepreneurs and network
Libra's - Yep, a location based network to find other members of your star sign
Watch a movie - Hang out with people about to watch the same movie as you
My blog readers - If you have a blog, some of your readers want to meet other readers

Create any sort of group you want!

Advantages for a group owner are:
  • You own the group through which potentially 100,000's will interact
  • You decide on the tags they will use as conversation points
  • You can enter tags related to promotions you run
  • It works globally, so expand your network globally
  • Real life meetings increase the bond between a websites users and that site.
Think of group members as Twitter followers but for real life conversation


How can I create my own location based social network?

Go to Http://www.Likeourselves.com, sign up and create your own group. Use the permanent link for that group as your own direct link to your users.

Within that group, create relevant tags including the date you want them to first use it on and publicise it. Watch your numbers grow.



Also see additional blog posts related to Likeourselves.com.


2. Why every city will have it's own location based network: http://blog.likeourselves.com/2010/10/why-ever-city-will-have-its-own.html


See an example of a direct link for a group: http://www.likeourselves.com/groups/french-in-london-753001

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