Liz Heller from LA-based Buzztone talked about the need for people to belong to groups, and how this translates online. Her company spends a lot of time looking at the formation of groups, which includes investigation of things that have always been happening, and how they are evolving. Heller’s presentation ran through several examples of how to successfully create online groups, such as the Red Bicyclette Social Club, and the first student social network for tech students for Microsoft, called The Spoke. In the latter instance Buzztone started with nothing, and grew to encompass 14 languages.
She says social networks provide a mechanism that allows for user generated selection of collaborators and filters. Cited examples included Block Savvy, Moveon, Our Chart, Buzznet and MtvVirtual Worlds, along with houseparty.com, www.reunion.com and www.paltalk.com.
“Is this the beginning of another group and another loop – smaller niche and more restricted, just like it was when you were a kid? Only this time you have a lot more influence.”