Social Pairing Unlocks The Power Of Our Networks [Need To Know: SXSWi]

Social Pairing Unlocks The Power Of Our Networks [Need To Know: SXSWi]

PSFK is following five trends during SXSWi, we chat with an innovator in this space who talks about how we can leverage already-existing data to find hidden connections with 'Social Pairing.'

Dan Gould
  • 3 march 2012

As we all begin to look forward to the Interactive section of South By South West in March, PSFK has identified five key trends that readers should be monitoring during the festival. One of these trends we have coined ‘Social Pairing.’

People with similar interests, hobbies and needs can get to meet today through smart services that use a mix of social, location and demographic data to match profiles. Networks are looking at their member’s profiles on their site and across the social graph and linking people up based on interests, needs and location.

To explore this idea further, we spoke with Brett Martin, the Co-Founder and CEO of Sonar, a location-based mobile application that leverages social network data to reveal hidden connections and interests you share with the people nearby.

What do you think is driving this trend of ‘Social Pairing’?

Both technology-driven and behavioral trends are changing how people connect.  The amount of data available to identify ways in which people may be connected to one another has grown astronomically, and the barrier to accessing/sharing this data has been lifted with portable identity through Facebook Connect and Twitter Sign In. These technologies create ease of use for the consumer by shortening the sign up process, and improved conversion and user data for the service.

Technology innovation drives collaboration, and vice versa. When two people meet at an event, they’re able to publicly acknowledge one another, collaborate on projects. When friends or strangers team up for activities like funding artists or inventors on Kickstarter, eating meals together via Grubwithus or sharing music via Spotify it often plays out in public on social channels, creating virality.

People currently realize a small fraction of the value of their networks.  Unlocking the power of our networks, in real time, will generate tremendous value. Need a restaurant recommendation in Paris, a developer for your startup in San Francisco, or an iPhone charger in midtown?  Somewhere in your network, someone has the ability to connect you to what you need; it’s just a matter of time before technology enables you to identify the right person, at the right place, and the right time.

These systems drive tremendous efficiencies. People can connect in a way (and at a speed) that would have taken a large amount of effort (and time) before. In your opinion, what are the areas where we could see big change using such linking technology?

Social pairing lubricates markets by reducing transaction costs. We’ve already seen an impact on lending and funding through services like Kiva and Prosper, but education is another area that has a lot of promise for innovation based on peer-to-peer collaboration. Skillshare and SideTour are two great examples of the democratization of education, and there could be some industries where today’s concept of accreditation could disappear completely. Trust engendered by online reputation validates the model, another great byproduct of the massive amounts of data from online networks.

Recruiting, through LinkedIn, Hirelite, and even Facebook, is another great example. Zaarly, TaskRabbit, Airbnb and Getaround all demonstrate the future of marketplaces. Music, entertainment and restaurant discovery are all becoming more personalized experiences, curated through each individual’s network. We’re really only at the early stages of tapping into frictionless or implicit social sharing.

What talks and events should PSFK readers be looking out for in Austin in terms of ‘Social Pairing’?

We’re speaking on a panel about serendipity, that everyone should be sure to catch.  Also, there’s a panel on collaborative consumption that looks pretty interesting. But SXSW Interactive is all about interacting! Keep the panels to a minimum and run around talking to other attendees, meeting new people and connecting with people you already know but don’t get the time to hang out with. I know this app called Sonar that’s great for helping with that…

Thanks Brett!

Sonar / @brett1211


IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

Travel Today

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Health Today

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Today

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Related Expert

Jason Kilar

Digital Media, Distribution, Data

Media & Publishing Today

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Food Today

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Food Today

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Today

General Electric: Lighting’s Impact On Sleep Is More Than The Off Switch

Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products at GE Lighting, uncovers how lighting technologies can affect our sleep cycles

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Mobile Today

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

Brand Development Today

The Story Behind How LYNK & CO Created A Car Brand From Scratch

Head of Design Andreas Nilsson describes which values were most influential in determining the identity and design direction of the new auto company

Travel Today

Architect’s Design Presents A Radically New Approach For New York’s Penn Station

The firm of Vishaan Chakrabarti has envisioned a bright community and travel hub in the heart of the city

Fitness & Sport Today

Editorial Roundtable: Building An All-Encompassing Performance Suite

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats on the partnership opportunities available in health and fitness

Gaming & Play Today

Fantasy Game Responds To Each Player’s Emotions

The card battling venture measures responses through a Bluetooth clip to adjust the experience accordingly

Luxury Today

Carry A Map Of NYC On A Handbag

The bag from Bottega Veneta has been designed exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate New York City

Technology Today

Roaming Robots Crawl Around Your Body To Do Small Jobs As You Go About Your Day

A new concept wearable developed by researchers at MIT and Stanford are fully functional bots that live on your clothing

Retail Today

Runners Are Delivering Groceries To Parisians

French supermarket Carrefour partnered with a running group for fast and memorable deliveries

No search results found.