The saying goes, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” These days, it seems like there’s a new social platform, application or deal site born every minute. Maybe it’s more like every day or week, but you get my drift. It’s overwhelming and hard to keep up with it all. Some are pretty brilliant ideas, while others seem entirely too specific to be adopted by any significant number of people.
I thought I’d help you out with a little roundup of a few that have caught my attention recently.
Dudu is a multilingual social networking website that uses translation technology to allow different language-speaking users to interact. I find this one particularly interesting because it blends a traditional social network with a translation service like Babel Fish. How cool would it be to talk with a friend in a far-off country without dealing with the language barrier that might exist? If you speak English, simply set your account to English and all communication, regardless of its origin, will appear on your screen in English.
An obvious question that comes up when thinking about potential issues with any translation-based service is accuracy. With the prevalence of slang in most languages, I’d imagine precisely accurate translation could be an issue for Dudu as it is with Babel Fish. Even with this potential issue, I think Dudu is headed in an important direction, especially as communication becomes increasingly global.
The site currently operates in seven languages, including English, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Italian, Hindu but is working to add additional languages in the future.
This is a location-based mobile app. Think Foursquare, only it takes things a step or two further. Clingle features the gaming aspect of a points-and-badge system similar to Foursquare. But it also allows you to leave private messages, called “Clings” (text, photo, audio) for your friends when they check-in at a particular location. You can set it up so that your friends have to check-in to unlock said message – a location-based virtual surprise. Fun, yes, but maybe too much work for most people. The Clingle folks call it a location-based social network, which it may be, but I think it might be too specific a service for people to fully adopt. For me personally, I might leave a Cling once or twice, just for fun, but would soon tire of it. That’s assuming enough of your friends are also using the app for you to actually interact with them.
One can also leave practical Clings for Clingle friends. The Clingle website uses the example of leaving a text Cling at the grocery store reminding your significant other to pick up milk. It’s a neat idea, if you ask me, but I’m not sure how often people will actually use the app for such things. It seems like it would be just as easy to send a text to a person’s phone.
While I like the idea of Clingle, I think it might be too much extra work for your average social networker. It’s easier for people to just check-in and tag their friends at locations on Facebook’s mobile app since they’re already there. I might be wrong, and I look forward to finding out if I am. It may take awhile, though, since the app is currently only available to use in New York City, India and Singapore.
There’s a new deal website in town, and it’s refreshingly unlike those in use now. Instead of informing you daily about available deals, which you may or may not be interested in purchasing, MyVici allows you to tell them which deals you want. You can tell them about your favorite business, and once the list of people interested in that business reaches 100, MyVici reaches out and makes that deal a reality.
It’s similar to what Loopt has done with its u-Deals, only one must be a Loopt user to access those deals. I like that anyone can use MyVici even if they’re not on a social networking site.
I can see this being valuable in my life because it would save me from purchasing too many deals just because I can’t resist. I’ve often purchased deals I wasn’t all that thrilled about simply because I enjoy feeling like I’m getting a great deal. I like that, with MyVici, I can be part of the deal-creating process. To sweeten the pot, if a business you were first to list becomes a deal, you get that deal for free. Sounds like a win to me.
The above are just three of a large number of new social-centered sites and apps that have been released recently. A question that continues to come up in AM:PM’s weekly PR 3.0 meetings is: why aren’t more of these social ideas being built to integrate with the site people are already spending most of their online time on? It seems like many of these new ideas might gain more traction if they could be accessed within Facebook.
What are your thoughts?