Wired Places

MoSoSo: the future of web-based networking


| December 15, 2005


Internet-based social software may still evoke images of unkempt, anonymous techies holed up in their underwear in front of glowing screens, interacting with other faceless characters in cyberspace, but that era is fast coming to a close. With the advent of MoSoSo, Mobile Social Software, cyber-socializing is initiating face-to-face interaction. So you better take a look in a mirror before logging on to the social software on your mobile device, because that cutie at the front of the bus with a high-tech phone might be checking out your profile.

MoSoSo is an up-and-coming technology that allows users of mobile phones, PDAs, and laptops to discover and make contact with other people nearby. Many MoSoSo services operate similarly to other online social networks like Friendster, or MySpace, allowing users to create personal profiles and connect with people who have similar interests. MoSoSo takes the place-based element of popular internet social software to the next level, not only enabling people to meet others after connecting in cyberspace, but providing a way for people to meet the folks who happen to be in the same place at the same time.

Some MoSoSo services, like Playtxt in the UK, market their software to club crowds who might use it to meet people frequenting the same watering hole. Google's Dodgeball targets a similar crowd of young urban folk, allowing users to search for and discover potential friends or objects of affection in the immediate area. But MoSoSo isn't just for hooking up. It can also be a protest tool. The Institute for Applied Autonomy developed TxtMob to be used by protesters to send text messages to one another at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 2004.

Though MoSoSo technology is proliferating, it hasn't yet reached a critical mass of users to make it widespread among its target demographic: young urbanites. But the impending international mass-market release of hybrid phones may be all it takes to make MoSoSo a part of everyday communication. To explore the array of MoSoSo available around the globe, take a look at m-trends.org and elasticspace.com's list of mobile social software applications. And to keep track of the latest trends in MoSoSo, check out the blog LBS-mososo.

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