The Next Facebook: The House Party

Isn’t the Internet so much more than just a place to hang out with friends? Many of us grew up on the Internet using services like forums (BBS, IRC) and interacting with strangers. Now, it seems, so much of our online socializing is with our real-world friends, our contact list, our existing social graph. Wouldn’t it seem more appropriate to use the Internet for the exciting powers and connectivity it enables?

Josh Miller, co-founder of Branch writes, in Musings About Text Boxes: The Next Facebook: Beyond the Address Book:

However, interacting with “strangers” online is (resoundingly) not something that “normal” people do often, if ever. Essentially, anyone who went through puberty with Facebook has only known an Internet that is filled with familiar faces. My hunch is that The Next Facebook will change that. In fact, I think that will be its core (though probably implicit) value proposition: interacting with cool people that you don’t know, or don’t know that well.

When you talk to “normal” people they’ll tell you that they don’t want to “meet strangers” or “make new friends” on the Internet — especially when framed that way. But when you observe their behavior you’ll notice that they’re obsessively curious about people they don’t know, and relish the opportunity to connect when it is socially acceptable.

Who’s going to host this “House Party”?

Photo by Chris Cooper / Krankbrother Roof Party with Tanner Ross, Wildkats & Max Chapman photo gallery



Wolfram and Data Science of the Facebook World

We were quite pleased to hear from our friend and esteemed scientist Stephen Wolfram about his recent analysis of a “computational telescope” on the “social universe.” Wolfram recently shared some wonderful, anonymized analysis of a million+ user statistics from his Wolfram|Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook.

“But it feels like we’re starting to be able to train a serious ‘computational telescope’ on the 'social universe.’ And it’s letting us discover all sorts of phenomena.”

At Jiber, we’ve seen first-hand how deep analysis into our social universe can go. What we’ve discovered also is the strong emotional reaction people get when finding out deep, obscure connections with other people, who they are meeting or who they can meet!

We have some big ambitions to continue making exciting connections between people, and it’s reassuring to hear how exciting of a space this is.

From Wolfram: a whole collection of networks from our Data Donors

Jiber CEO Noah Bloom’s social network cluster

The mobile computer in our collective pocket

Many of us have already stopped to consider the marvel of the massively powerful computing device we carry everywhere with us in our pocket. The current iPhone 5, for example, is equivalent in processing power and file capacity as a desktop computer from not too many years ago. But it’s doing more than storing files. It’s changing socializing and planning, immediate conveniences, and social behavioral norms.

We no longer have to plan meetings in advance — we can hook up with people on the fly! We made that jump over 10 years ago when mobile phones went mainstream and a network hack to send short text-based messages over a mobile carrier’s signaling network caught fire. SMS was technology so archaic by today’s 100Mbps+ mobile broadband abilities, and it’s still so ubiquitous.

We no longer have to worry about getting lost or finding recommended businesses for eating and buying products or services. With location, compass, marked up maps, 3D satellite images, and social recommendation tools, we always can find what we need.

These two shifts have been awesome and are ongoing. Innovative companies are pushing rich media, convenience, and immediacy into our messaging tools (and even for nominal cost and even while roaming globally), and social recommendation apps are directing us to businesses we’re most likely gonna love.

(Those are some of our favorite apps here: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Ness, and Foursquare.)

The third wave we’re starting to witness is how mobile phones will change how we interact with other people. Do you notice public mobile phone usage making people anti-social? Would you like phones to be instead something that people can use together, collaborate with, and have a good time? This is largely unchartered territory, but not unconsidered or direction-less. Many things will mimic but heighten behaviors we already do. This is an exciting space, something only available in this age of computers in our pocket. Are you looking forward to new, unknown uses of your mobile phones?