In the fourth semester at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg, my project group started creating a mobile flirt application, FastFlirt. The aim of that application was to
- be very easy to handle,
- bring people with similar interests together
- and show good results very quickly.
During our research, we discovered a similar application already available on the market, which had the major flaw to rely on text messaging. A user first has to send the current location and afterwards got information abount people currently at the same place. This might work for static situations, but on train it would fail.
FastFlirt automatically sends Geo information (current GPS data) to a central server and delivers results instantly. One thought we had, was that the great diversity of mobiles and mobile operating systems could be a problem. Not anymore with the new iPhone 3G. And some guys really think that this is the next big thing on a global view:
Basically they consider an iPhone 3G with integrated mobile community support would reshape how we interact with each other. An they are right, why didn’t Apple implement something like that? A google search with relevant keywords doesn’t bring up any good results at all.
Building relationships through electronic devices (facebook, flirt sites,…) has the drawback of beeing very superficial. Most people hardly fill out profiles, and who really maintains profiles on social networking sites on a regular basis? It’s usable to get to know people very quickly, on a basis of a few significant facts as matching music favourites, age, … But how could we push this very basic matching?
The next step of flirt sites (or mobile flirt application) after there was a matching, reading through the suggested profile and maybe sending E-Mails to each other for a certain amount of time, will be to meet in reality and check how reality compares to the virtual impression. At this stage, a lot of time has already been invested in finding out more about each other. And the decision to find out more about a particular person was based on very basic matching facts. Wouldn’t it be better to start from another direction, and match people based on their very personal thoughts, ideas, dreams,…?
A personal web diary application could serve as a framework for this idea. Can you remember what you did four weeks ago? Or two months ago? Or can you see certain topics in your life emerge, as others probably decline in interest? This additional functionality could motivate more people to use that service. In the background, the systems matches people based on their entries.
The difference to ordinary blogs is not obvious: Blogs usually don’t contain the very private thoughts of a person, thoughts you’d maybe not even share with a single other person. In the new system you’d be encouraged to trust it and write down everything you got on your mind though. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said: “Writing stories is one way to get rid of past things”. The service could also be advertised as a tool for your psyche, your mental healthiness.
People can only read other peoples entries if they match on certain topics. And also then, only parts of the entries are accessible. A special feature for premium users could include to be able to read more that just an extract.
Some people might find it useful to not automatically get matched with others, but to decide when they’d like to get matched. “Press the button and find out who’s like you!”.
If you have any ideas, suggetions, interest… in those ideas please let me know.