Archive for March, 2010

Jumo.com: Chris Hughes’s New Direction for Social Media

When I read yesterday of Facebook’s Chris Hughes’s soft launch of his new project, Jumo.com, I immediately clicked, read, and followed. It was exhilarating. I was within the first 200 to follow on Twitter, an early fan on Facebook and, I began combing the web for more information. And I am sure that for him and his partners, it must be reassuring to know that his name has some equity.

With Facebook’s over 400 million users, that’s a pretty good base to start with. The question quickly becomes, how many of them will be attracted to an enterprise whose primary focus is connecting individuals to causes and concerns around the globe, not just connecting old classmates to each other or brands to consumers.

Jumo, is a word from Yoruba meaning, “together in concert”. And with Jumo.com, Hughes hopes to create a place where people can really engage.

As Hughes explained the project, “We’ll be matching people based on their skills and interests with organizations around the world that need their input. It’s a discovery process that first matches, then helps people build relationships, then let’s people share their resources.”

Watching the recent outpouring of money through social media during both recent earthquakes has shown that people are willing to click to pay, or text to pay to show support. What remains to be seen is whether the current social media model can sustain the long term needs of an organization like Jumo, whose goals are so lofty. I for one will not bet against Hughes.

I am curious as to how others feel about Jumo, and what its chances are of succeeding in the long run. Take a moment to check them out at jumo.com, and I would love to hear your comments.

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Stickybits Meets Avi Buffalo at SXSW

Has my focus changed so drastically in the last year? Or has SXSW become more about indie software developers than indie music? (sorry, I hate labels too). And the subtext is that this year it’s all about the “Location Wars”. Not a battle of the bands, but more of a land battle of sorts. Everyone is fighting for geospace. All the “big” players will be out in force. Foursquare, Gowalla, Google, Facebook and Twitter will be posting their claim to know where you are and when. And naturally sell that information to the highest bidder. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Our recent recessionary economy has stimulated enormously creative ideas in marketing. And this is just the beginning. But just as established bands (meaning they’ve been around more than just 5 years) play SXSW alongside bands just looking for an audience, so too are the young upstarts in social media looking for their groupies! And just as with the bands, we’ll be hearing people tell us that they were in Austin in 2010 and saw the introduction of, say Stickybits.

Many of you have not yet heard of Stickybits. In fact, I had not until today. But trust me you will. The startup founded by Billy Chasen (Chartbeat) and Seth Goldstein (Socialmedia.com) introduces its seemingly quirky but potentially groundbreaking location based service.

The concept is simple. With the advent of barcode scanning in hand-held phones, consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. With Stickybits, you can attach digital data to any barcode. And when someone scans that barcode with their phone, that digital data is then fed to their device. Let’s say you as a young band playing at SXSW is giving away CD singles with a barcode on the sleeve. That barcode could be linked to a video of your band along with a link to your website. Or maybe your product has a distinctively low carbon footprint and your customer is interested in how the product got to the marketplace. Fine, attach a link to your website or a video that traces it’s journey.

There are no limits to how these little gems can be utilized. And no doubt this week at SXSW there will be a lot of creative and hilarious applications. Free adhesive Stickybits will be handed out to many of this years’ 12,000 attendees. These barcodes can be followed, so if your girlfriend slaps you on the ass when she heads back to the hotel, be sure and have your buddy check to see that she didn’t leave any Stickybits behind.

As for me? Well to be honest, I’d probably just assume see Avi Buffalo in their first SXSW appearance. I mean, I saw their first gig in a vegan restaurant in Long Beach!

Definitely Not My Last Communion

I spent the entire day today, save for a brief walk in the fresh snow with my dog, in communion. And this blog post is but a continuation of that communion. There are of course different definitions of the word, but my favorite is this: communion as the interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication.

There are many detractors to social media. There are those that say that we are becoming more disconnected everyday even though through our social channels we are sharing so much, with so many. But if, when we engage those in our communities, we are being thoughtful and honest, how could this be?

Today I read probably 2 dozen blog posts, countless web pages, Facebook links and emails, mostly driven by those juicy 140 character kernels in my Twitter feed. Just about anyone who takes the time to write a blog, or create content of any type, wants to share his/her thoughts and or emotions. The great thing is that these are the people who I have chosen to commune with. A congregation of sorts.

Tomorrow I’ll probably spend the lion’s share of my day continuing to interview with potential employers, following up on emails etc. But for today, it was all about you. Thanks for taking your time to commune with me.


As Bill Tweets

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