Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Social Networking Site to Facilitate Offline Interaction

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 10, 2005

We have all heard of social networking, the online phenomenon where people post their photos, likes and dislikes onto Web sites like and to connect with people with similar interests. I must say I’ve been a bit resentful about using those: Why do I need to make friends online? I meet plenty of people in the real world – in the bookstore, at parties, etc. In the offline world, at least I know what they look like, whereas, online, it’s a mystery.

That’s why I sat up alertly when I heard about, a social networking site intended to help people meet in the offline world.

Allow me to explain. Say, you are getting ready to go to a trade show. You log onto, and download your entire address book onto the site (the contacts will only be accessible to you). Then, you answer questions about the location of your home town, clubs you belong to, former employers, fraternities, etc. The set-up takes 10 minutes.

When you get to the trade show, you make a beeline for a person you know nothing about except for what their name tag says. You both smile at each other, pull out your Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or cell phones, and log into your own accounts. Then, you enter each other’s e-mail accounts into the site’s system. Within seconds, you’ll both receive a summary, telling you exactly what you have in common with one another. Perhaps you both know the same person. Perhaps you went to the same high school. Or, maybe, you both love playing tennis.

How about that for a conversation starter? I mean, it can take years for me to find out that someone I know has a similar hobby, or is from my home town.

Granted, for this to work, lots of people have to belong to (today, it has about 25,000 users). It remains to be seen whether can pull this off: The site is self-funded and looking for venture capitalists, says CEO Craig Calle.

But I think the main idea – of using social networking for offline networking – is a goldmine. I wouldn’t be surprised if large social networking sites like, catering to professionals, pick it up and run with it.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Reader Comments

saul klein

May 10, 2005 05:54 PM

another way to make the physical connection is to use Pleasurecards (see - a new business which links an online profile to a physcial card. As they recently noted on Springwise "Burgeoning social software meets the physical world: PleasureCards are an interesting way to fill the gap between offline encounters and continuing the conversation online: if we were Friendster, or Orkut, or Flickr, or we would study and/or partner with this company straight away." (

Ed Chi

May 10, 2005 06:48 PM

Would I really meet someone, and then spend the next 3 minutes trying to log onto my account to find out what's common between us? That 3 minute delay seems pretty deadly to me.


May 11, 2005 12:21 PM

This is a great idea! I often feel like I'm wasting so much time at tradeshows looking for the poeple that I should be networking with. Is Common.Net the first to do this? An application I saw at a trade show recently was similar to Common.Net but the GUI blew me away. That was introNetworks-

Are there anymore apps like this out there or is this a newly emerging market?

Klaas Brumann

June 8, 2005 06:23 PM

As Head of Communications at the interactive academic network I can only say that it works the opposite way around. You prepare for events (fairs, conferences) from within your network. You build a network to go to an event.

Klaas Brumann


July 18, 2005 06:54 PM

here's a killer application for pre and post event matching, collaboration and sharing. It has been used at more than 50 events. A product overview can be found here . it's simple to use and gain value from.

Post a comment



BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!