If you believe the hype, “people discovery” services are set to dominate SXSW this year. It makes sense if you look at years past, when the buzz has always been about services that connect people, including Twitter, Foursquare and Group.me. Networking apps like Highlight and Glancee promise to deliver elements of all past SXSW buzzchildren.
As of today you can add one more to the mix: Meeteor has launched a SXSW networking service. The DreamIt Ventures-backed networking site, which itself launched not too long ago, pulls from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to connect professionals with their own social networking connections. As silly as that sounds, it makes sense when you have 500 Facebook friends, thousands of Twitter followers, and an equally disorganized pile of LinkedIn connections. You probably don’t track each of their career moves. Even more importantly, you don’t know who all of their connections are.
Meeteor serves to prevent someone from ever interviewing with a friend of a friend for a job without knowing it, or as Fast Company wrote, to help you Facebook-stalk your way to a job. The value of the service seems pretty obvious, considering how far a warm intro from a friend goes as compared with a cold call or email (or worse, a cold Tweet!).
Today the company launched a service to apply its technology to SXSW, the tech world’s mega-networking panel party. The service aims to supercharge SXSW networking by matchmaking those users with Friends/Connections in common, shared Alma Maters and workplaces, shared interests, and similar types of people they’re looking to meet up with, all a week in advance.
Meeteor co-founder Philip Cortes broke it down as such: “Let’s say you’re going to SXSW and looking to meet people who share your passion for Mobile Apps, Gamification, and Lean Startup Methodology. Meeteor will introduce you to someone who is also passionate about Mobile Apps and Gamification, friends with your roommate from college and also worked at Google.”
Of course, with Glancee and Highlight, as well as the likes of Banjo and Sonar, the competition is steep. But Meeteor’s approach, being to make connections in advance in order to make more useful connects at the festival, sets it apart. Apps like Glancee and Highlight are restricted by location and time. In other words, the person you might meet has to be bored at the same time as you, as well as have overlapping interests, use the same app you’re using, and be standing within 50 feet from you. Certainly that group of variables will occur at SXSW.
But Cortes argues that Meeteor’s algorithm and tiny push of advance planning will help users focus their energy on connecting with those people, out of the thousands in attendance, with whom they have the most in common. Unfortunately for the less than serious networkers among us, Meeteor’s categories don’t include booze, BBQ, or swag.
Image via Visualist Images.