4 Social Apps and Services You Need to Know More About (@socialtables, @ideaflight, @MeetMeme, @sonarme)

November 28, 2011

Introduction

The social web, mobile devices, apps, location awareness and more: it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur. And by extension, it’s a great time to be a consumer of technology. There’s an abundance of apps and web services that can bring you tremendous value, for little to no cost. Let’s take a look at four services you need to know more about.

Socialtables (@socialtables)

Socialtables provides web-based seating charts for any occasion. Event planners are provided with a simple and intuitive web-based interface. You can load guest information into the service, then drag and drop guests to particular tables. The service includes a social component, which encourages guests to share pictures, tell stories and get to know one another (e.g. with the guests you’re seated with at a wedding table).

Ideaflight (@ideaflight)

Idea Flight allows you to share ideas easily on the iPad. A “pilot” controls the flight and can provide a presentation to “passengers.” We bring our iPads to meetings today, don’t we? With Idea Flight, you can leave the projector in your desk drawer. This service would also be a great fit for college lectures and trade shows, to name a few.

MeetMeme (@MeetMeme)

I discovered MeetMeme social trading cards at JiveWorld11 in Las Vegas. For me, the “trading” of MeetMeme cards replaced conventional business card exchanges at the event. Most events have networking components (e.g. mixers, cocktail hours, dinners, etc.) and these sort of social trading cards are perfect for the occasion. I returned home with a large stack of cards, getting to meet people I would never have met without the cards.

Sonar (@sonarme)

Search engines, along with services like StumbleUpon, help us find content. But what about finding and discovering people? Check out Sonar, “a mobile application that uncovers the hidden connections you share with people nearby.” One afternoon in a pumpkin patch, I wondered whether a “people discovery app” existed. I returned home, discovered Sonar and tried it out. Wouldn’t it work great at conferences and trade shows?

Conclusion

I’ve only scratched the surface on all the neat sites and apps that are hitting the market these days. Use the comments section below to let us know about neat services that you’ve recently started using.

Related Links

  1. Blog Post: Social Networking and Seat Management with Social Tables
  2. Blog Post: Share Ideas Across iPads with Idea Flight
  3. Blog Post: Conference Networking with MeetMeme Social Trading Cards
  4. Blog Post: Turn Outings into Professional Networking Opportunities with Sonar

Social Networking and Seat Management with Social Tables

June 22, 2011

Introduction

Social Tables, a New York-based start-up launched in May 2011, bills itself as “a social networking utility (and seat management tool) for any event with assigned tables.” Social Tables is currently operating as a free public beta, allowing anyone to use the service for their wedding, charity dinner or dinner party.

Walking Dogs Led to Seating Guests

Co-founders Dan Berger (@danberger) and Matthew Tendler (@matthewtendler) met while walking their dogs, Leroy and Geri. The founders, both in their late 20’s, were inspired by the idea, “how could we see who was going to be sitting by us at the next wedding we were planning on attending?” Dan wanted to be able to see who he could network with at the wedding, while Matt wanted to avoid getting caught in awkward conversations.

Features for Event Planners

Pictured: A planner’s view of all tables.

For event organizers (e.g. a bride/groom or a wedding planner), Social Tables provides a cloud-based utility for managing your seating plan. If the event has multiple organizers, Social Tables has collaboration features to enable coordination of planning activities. In addition, it integrates with other sites, such as TheKnot and WeddingWire.

Features for Guests

Social Tables was founded on the principle of connecting and engaging guests before, during and after an event. They’ll be able to see whom they’re sitting next to and have an opportunity to connect with them prior. “We’ve coupled game mechanics and social networking APIs to make your event more fun and more powerful,” said Matthew Tendler, Social Tables Co-Founder.

Guests are encouraged to tell stories about the hosts, share pictures, and learn about each other. Connections can be made via real-time chat tools called “Table Talk” and “Event Talk.”

Social Network Integration

While Social Tables enables private social networks (centered around specific events), it also integrates with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Tendler notes that he wants to go beyond sharing and liking, to use third party social networks in a unique way. Said Tendler, “Our focus is on making the life of the planner easier and the life of the guest more fun. By using Social Networking in the right way, we nail both of these goals. Think ‘Seating Bots’ based on very sophisticated rules matrices that utilize social tools.”

Next Up: A Mobile App

Social Tables is planning to develop a mobile app that guests can use at events. Similar to how mobile Twitter clients have enabled vast sharing of thoughts, insights and content from physical events, Social Tables envisions their mobile app facilitating photo and thought sharing among guests. “It is important to us that we provide tools that capture, organize, and share things already happening, and not distract guests from the event,” said Tendler.

Revenue Model

While the service is in a no-cost beta period today, the eventual plan is a pricing model based around the number of guests, along with a set of premium features that are priced additionally.

Conclusion

Social Tables is an interesting service. I think they ought to focus on weddings, expanding upon their feature set to capture a large following from brides and grooms. In addition, I’m interested to see how they manage the “post-wedding” period.  All too often, we attend weddings, we meet interesting people and we never see or hear from them again. Social Tables has the opportunity to change that.

Video

The video (below) provides a nice overview of Social Tables.


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