36 Responses to What I want from my Mobile Social Network

  1. Phil Barrett says:

    Great wish list!

    Have you tried MOSH by Nokia? Or Yelp?

    So far facebook for the iphone has been my best overall mobile social networking experience… although twinkle (twitter + location + pictures with tinyurl) has been usefull as well.

  2. sachendra says:

    @Phil I haven’t tried MOSH or Yelp yet.

    Sadly iPhone has not been launched in India so I haven’t tried the iPhone versions but Facebook for Blackberry has been the overall best for me so far, and for lack of options I make do with Twitterberry :) although m.slandr.net is proving to be quite effective as well the only problem it’s not a native app so that kills the experience somewhat.

  3. What a great list, Sachendra! Thank you for sharing it on my blog! It mirrors discussions I’ve had with others who are active users of mobile services–they just aren’t quite there yet. That seems a really good reason to keep watching for who is getting at least some parts of it right, because it strikes me as a long list! Wonder if anyone will get it all right. . .
    MLR

  4. sachendra says:

    @Mary It sure is a long list :) not so much in terms of features but in terms of the factors need to come together to get it right. Most important of these are:

    1. There needs to be a partnership between the carrier/handset manufacturer and the App vendor to pre-install the app on the phone. Alternatively, there needs to be a well developed ecosystem (like blackberry for example) where installing 3rd party apps is a no brainer

    2. Handsets must have GPS and expose location information to applications. Alternatively, carriers must expose location to applications.

    3. Application must integrate with native apps like Camera, Photo Gallery (Such integration is already there in Facebook and couple of others)

    4. Application needs to integrate with a well developed mapping application like Google maps

  5. thiago says:

    Thanks for your recent comment on our post.

    http://enterprise-3.blogspot.com/2008/05/mobile-social-networking-growing.html

    One of the better tools available on the blackberry Facebook app is the ability to follow status updates. I find this extremely useful as I can check to see what projects my colleagues and co-workers are working on.

  6. anselm says:

    I’d also add that anybody should be able to register as a listener to try to listen for things that are interesting and respond directly to the person who asked the question.

    I’m kind of tired of silo’s that promise to offer us all the ability to see and talk to our friends but just fragment us into disjoint social groups because they all compete with each other.

    We really need to enter an age of brokerages, with trust filters to block the spammers and exploiters.

    All apps tend towards becoming internet relay chat anyway and what you are asking for here seems similar to that.

  7. sachendra says:

    @anselm Good point, one of Twitter and FriendFeed’s strengths is they allow keyword tracking.

    You’ve made an interesting proposition, could you expand on how you propose to enter the age of brokerages with a scenario or a use case.
    Also, how do you propose to monetize in such a case (at the end of the day, it’s about making money directly or indirectly)

  8. Nikki says:

    Great indepth list. Thanks for sharing. Keep us updated on your further thoughts.

  9. Greg Wujek says:

    You have quite a list. The sites I am going to leave you answer most if not all your wants. If i get a v-mail, if you sent a address i can get a map phone# i can call one click video reply – a softphone plus tons more, including Hello t.v. where you can watch all the Live Broadcasts, as well as the archived ones. Take care

    http://www.dreamteamers.com showcases products well

    http://www.myvideopartners.com use and users, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

    http://www.helloworld.com/mtgonrway my site where you can watch some Hello t.v. and even join if you like

    Greg

  10. Thats an exhaustive list of scenarios. But these will be there sooner than one thinks. Have you facebook on Blackberry. I am hooked on to it so are many of my friends…

    cheers

    PS Nice blog.

  11. @Hemant

    Thanks

    I do have Facebook on Blackberry and its the best Mobile SNS I’ve come across so far… It does leave you wanting though…
    I guess the problem with me is I know what’s possible (not in terms of technology capability but in terms of social needs that can be satisfied via mobile) and frustrated by how little is out there in the current crop of apps, that was one of the main drivers for compiling this list.

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  15. Rakesh Raju says:

    Hey Sachendra,

    Once i connect with my friends i want to *do something with them. some of it is in the real world , some of it is online/mobile.

    So in addition to your list, i want to add, better support for games and user interface technolgies like flash. FB apps dont seem to work on mobile very well or at all.

    cheers
    -Rakesh

  16. @Rakesh

    I definitely see people engaging in more activities besides conversing and sharing stuff. Multi-player gaming sounds like a “nice-to-have” extension, although instead of adding games to social network I’d like to see game environment tap into the social network instead, where it enriches the gaming experience even more.

  17. Jay Oatway says:

    Great post. I agree with everything except at the end when you say that this dream service should tie-up with a hadnset maker/operator. That would kill it dead.

    It needs to be open and free to everyone, regardless of network and device. Then it would be perfect.

  18. @Jay

    Believe me I dislike walled gardens as much as the next guy, but the reality of the matter is that normal people (those who’re not geeks or early adapters) don’t download applications to their phones. For an application to truly go mass market it needs to be either on the deck or downloadable from the deck (unless it’s truly revolutionary like Facebook and people will do whatever to get it on their phones).

  19. baby says:

    Nice website!!

  20. @baby Thanks for the kind words.

  21. Pingback: Understanding ‘User Needs’ a Mobile Social Network can satisfy « Technology, Mobility, Usability and other Musings

  22. Kelle says:

    Great list!!
    I’m going to start to develop a mobile social network and I’ll pay attention to your wishes. If you remember anything else that you’d like to have in a mobile social network, please send me an email. I need some new ideas!

  23. Kelle,

    Thanks. I’ll definitely let you know if something else strikes me.

    May I suggest that you check out these two posts related to mobile social networking as well

    http://sachendra.wordpress.com/2008/08/14/understanding-user-needs-a-mobile-social-network-can-satisfy/

    http://sachendra.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/finally-phonebook-gets-social/

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  25. Marcello says:

    There is a big limitation that apparently nobody takes into account: your list (that I fully subscribe as it is really what one would like to have on a mobile phone) cannot be provided through a mobile web browser.

    Mobile web browsers today, differently than desktop browsers, cannot show maps or at least do not support the level of java script required to interact with maps.
    Have you ever tried on your mobile phone to use a web application written with Google Maps API? It does not work!

    Also, a web browser cannot connect to the embedded or bluetooth GPS to provide real-time position and cannot control the camera that you use to take the photo that you would like to send to your favorite social media.

    To do what you wish to do, you need today a location-based social network client (I call it a Social Mapping Client) written using native Windows Mobile, Symbian, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and PalmOS SDKs.

    A big effort as the application cannot be written once and deployed on any platform. You must rewrite a part of the application for each single platform. Also, you have to write the code with several languages depending on the mobile OS. As a minimum you need two totally different projects: one for Java and the other one for C/C++/Objective-C.

    Therefore only big companies such as facebook, Nokia, google, Yahoo!, Twitter, MySpace, etc can start developing such a client, but I think they have no interest in developing an open client. In fact they are developing their own applications: Google Maps Mobile, Yahoo Go!, Nokia Maps, Google Earth for iPhone, Twitter for iPhone, facebook for Blackberry, etc.

    I believe the only way to have an Open Social Mapping Client is via Open Source development.

    Bluemapia Mobile, my open source project , could be a starting point and I’m trying to put together a community of people interested in giving support to this idea.

    Basically the idea is to finally extend Bluemapia Mobile to become a client for different mobile platforms that offers:
    - Open support for multiple map sources
    - Open support to show multiple layers of geo-information on the map
    - Open support to capture and send geo-referenced content (video, photo, text) to multiple social media services
    - Open support to location-based instant messaging
    - Social Mapping capabilities

    Marcello Ferrero
    marcello[at]bluemapia[dot]com

  26. Brian Leaf says:

    Good list S! I meet with the team behind the mobile social network Speedflirt at the 3gsm show in Barcelona, a friendly buch from The Mobile Life (http:www.themobilelife.com) they had drawn a similar list with focus on simplicity for example the location based part of Speedflirt (go to http://www.Speedflirt.com) uses manual positioning with inspiration from Japan, where its big. What I especially liked about their approach is that they decided to start in developing countries such as India rather in home markets Singapore and Sweden.

  27. Adam says:

    Interesting topic.
    I agree with Marcello that large companies will not allow open clients to exist until they figure out how they can monetize them.

    Facebook for BB and iphone may be somewhat of an exception but there may be a rev share in place.

    Another challenge is how you give this experience to handsets across different operating systems. Android, Mac OS, Symbian will likely not adopt the same client or allow an open client on their devices.

  28. widyo rio says:

    Would you come and review my small mobile social network on http://mobinessia.com

    Thx, nice to read your opinion

  29. Thanks for the kind words widyo, I’ll check it out.

  30. Pingback: What I want from my Mobile Social Network « Technology, Mobility, Usability and other Musings | (iverson's) currentbuzz

  31. kablosearch says:

    You’re so interesting! I do not believe I have read through a single thing like that before. So good to discover somebody with some unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  32. Martin says:

    I like your wish list, It’s quite an interesting topic, and you write very good

  33. friendship says:

    This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just great!

  34. Serkan says:

    Gerçekten faydalı bilgiler hocam çok teşekkür ederim.

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