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IDEA #46 – Who Do You Vouch For?

This idea is somewhat similar to two recent ideas — “Everyone Has Neighbors” and “Social Connections Search Engine“.

As you may know from my ideas, I’m very interested in the convergence of offline and online — and in particular, connecting people. All this past week I’ve been at SXSW for music concerts all day — but to meet other like-minded people at them is difficult; you have to walk up to them at the bar or in the crowd and spark conversation. That’s a very inefficient process when there’s 500 people there and you only end up speaking to less than 5. I’m sure at each concert there was at least one person that’d likely turn into a good friend of mine — if only I knew who they were.

I’m thinking of this website where you input the names, email addresses, and any other info you know about your friends (city/state, address, etc), and you claim to trust them and vouch for them. Then I’d hope viralness would kick in, and those people would each be sent an email saying that someone vouched for them, “visit this website and input the people you vouch for.”

So I was thinking of some sort of program where you could do dinner or lunch with various people that either have shared interests, or that simply share a common friend. What better way to meet others than by knowing someone mutually?

Maybe you end up saying a few words on that person — but maybe not. I could see a risk of this website/network becoming meaningless — because maybe you have a friend that you don’t exactly trust, but you don’t want them to see that you don’t vouch for them. I’m unsure how that piece of this idea would work.

Maybe you’ve heard of “It’s Just Lunch”, which is some sort of offline dating service where they align you on lunch dates. There could be a similar service here that is automated and used for meeting interesting people as friends — and of course dating might happen between two singles that hit it off; but I think you just focus on the meeting new friends aspect.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I’ve heard similar ideas before. The most innovative one was actually for dating, but could be for any kind of meeting…
    That idea was not to have a site that you had to sign into , but to code up a program that would run on blackberrys/cell phones. When in a crowd, all the devices would talk to each other, match you up with similar interests, then vibrate with greater intensity as you approached a match. No interaction needed with the technology, you just say ‘hi’ when you are led to someone you might want to talk to.

  • Toby Lucich

    Seemed that LinkedIn began with the intent of “vouched for” references, but we’ve seen how missused/ abused that trusted network has become.

    I think the online personna can accelerate awareness of the individual (one’s personal brand), but we still have to be accessible in the real world. The web provides a great forum for openly expressing ideas and thoughts, but we have much to do in the physical world to build the relationships that we would recommend to our closest friends. Nothing seems to beat a beer and chat to build effective community.

    Next time you’re in Portland, drop a line and we’ll grab a beer.

  • IdeaTagger

    I am not sure about the vouching angle but I recently read about Zoodango – an events based social network.

  • Shahzad Sheriff

    I am Software Project Manager and I would like to code for this project. If you are interested email me at: