Helping You Meet New People

How do you get to meet people at an event such as IWMW? We’ve always tried to provide social events which can help participants to meet new people and develop their professional networks. However since this year’s event has been reduced to two days, there will be limited scope to facilitate such networking opportunities.

IWMW events have sought to provide an opportunity to evaluate new technologies which may help enrich events. This year we will be evaluating the potential of the Shhmooze app.

As described in a post on the UK Web Focus blog this app was tested last week at a UKOLN workshop on on “Metrics and Social Web Services: Quantitative Evidence for their Use & Impact”.

Shhmooze is an app available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mobile devices developed by a company based in Belfast. The Shhmooze Web site describes how:

Research by Shhmooze shows that 75% of conference delegates find networking to be hard work or ‘a nightmare’!

That’s because it’s really hard to find the right person to talk to within a crowd of dozens, hundreds or thousands of people. And, for many people, it’s even harder to strike a conversation out of nowhere with a complete stranger.

In our initial experiment we discovered one potentially valuable use for the application.  After receiving a post which stated:

Help! Four of us stuck downstairs – Jenni Lee building.

I realised that the app could be used as a communications channel between participants and event organisers for event-specific communications such as this. In this example the four people who couldn’t gain entrance to the building would not want to have published such information on a more open channel such as Twitter – and the event organisers would not want to divulge their mobile phone number to all participants.

Following the post about the evaluation about this app concern was raised that an Apple-specific app was not desirable for a tool which was meant to encourage networking at events. Mehdi, the co-founder of company which developed the Shhmooze app responded with the comment:

I see you and Christopher both want to see Shhmooze on more platforms. We completely agree with you – it’s always been our plan to support every platform. We’re releasing our Android app soon (it’s in the works already) and more platforms will follow.

I’ll leave the final comment to Dan Wiggle who responded to this discussion with support for use of this app:

I’d be keen to see Shhmooze at IWMW and think it would be a useful addition.
This will be my fourth IWMW and while I’ve managed to break into a few of the social circles now, it was tough going the first couple of times around. I rather like the idea of an app that could make that process easier and help me ‘find useful, interesting people’, however cheesy it might sound :)

If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad feel free to install this app on your device.  The IWMW organisers will try and check posts on a regular basis so if you do find yourself locked out we should be able to respond promptly!

Also note that following the initial evaluation of the app we suggest that you upload a photograph of yourself if you would like to make it easier for others to meet you and that you provide a summary about yourself and your interests to help make it easier for people to spot others with similar interests.


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