Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Organizing Get-togethers: Zipiko vs Micro-blogging

At the Mobile 2.0 conference in Barcelona, we were asked by an investor group why users could not use Twitter and other micro-blogging services to organize get-togethers. We have been asked the same question a couple of times since. Here is the answer:

The screen shot above shows Jyri Engström talking about how to use micro-blogging to get your friends together for a last-minute beer. However, the likes of Jaiku/Twitter are not ideally suited for this purpose, since they cannot: reach everyday friends, automatically collate responses, send reminders and inform about cancellations.

Needless to say Zipiko can and is doing these things. In addition, we have recently added event messaging boards, so that collaborative fine-tuning can be made right up to the last-minute, eg - the plan was to picnic, but it is pouring down, so invite them to your flat instead (a real-life example). We are currently considering the implications of allowing update comments to also be sent to attendees via SMS - but this will probably have to wait until we have sponsorship.

However, you can watch the video and listen to Jyri's many pearls of wisdom. Below I have outlined his key ideas in relation to Zipiko:

1. Define the social object round which your service is built:


2. Define the key verbs for that object:

see, join, share (11.9-2008)

3. Make the object shareable:

We already have perma-links to events past and present, we already have a prototype Apple Widget and are planning others, and are working on a strategy to link to Facebook Connect.

4. To grow your userbase, think about what can you provide in terms of a gift users can offer their friends:

more fun together / time / free SMS

5. Work out a business model where you charge the publisher, not the spectators:

Intention Ads / Pro Services / Sponsored SMS

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