Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Latest Useless Trend: Adding Social Networking To Everything, Including Cab Rides

from the seems-a-bit-niche dept

With the recent growth of social networking sites cashing in with VC money or acquisitions, it seems like just about everyone is trying to add some sort of social networking capabilities to their existing offerings, no matter how little sense it makes. Take, for example, the story of some website designed to help people share cabs with each other. They're now trying to add a social networking component so that you might have something in common with the person you are sharing a cab to the airport, even hinting at how it could be a way to meet others of the opposite sex. This isn't just niche, this is niche within niche. If you think of the Venn diagram of the overlap between "people who might find it convenient to share a cab somewhere" with "people who have something in common" you have a very, very, very small group of people. Then, add in another circle of people who would actually know about or care about this site, and the market has almost disappeared entirely. Perhaps they need to team up with that other service that would try to make sure the person sitting next to you on the airplane had a compatible personality -- and it could be like two "dates" in one trip. The thing is, if there actually was a market for this, it would make more sense for an existing social network site to simply add it as a tiny feature to their existing system. It makes almost no sense to start from scratch. Of course, most of the social networks out there probably realize that there is no market for such an offering in the first place -- which is why this company needs to start from scratch.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    DittoBox, Nov 13th, 2006 @ 9:05pm

    Complete with gradients and helvetica rounded

    The design is even the same bland, last-year, web 2.0 branding we see...everywhere else, right down to the post-post-modern sans serif logo face, white background, Helvetica Rounded on everything else and bright, saturated gradients made of primary or pastel colors.

    They even included some print somewhere that says "beta!"

    All that's missing is a name change to "hitchstrs" and you're all set.

    This is a VC grab if there ever was one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Stuart, Nov 13th, 2006 @ 9:53pm

    Bandwagon Anyone?

    Social Networking is just the next thing that will be destroyed by spam & useless stories.

    Real Life Anyone?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Mindless Puppetz, Nov 13th, 2006 @ 10:10pm


    hmmm sounds like an easier way for predators to locate their prey by certain interests/personality traits easier. What have they done? and in NYC too. just sad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Matt, Nov 14th, 2006 @ 11:26am

    Why all the negativity???

    So what if it's a niche market? So what if they're starting from scratch? The purpose of the site is to match you up with another rider so you can share the cab fare, saving you money...yes it also throws a "social networking" bit in there, but so what? Props to them for the idea...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    G, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Why all the negativity???

    I agree... there isn't anything on their site that talks up the social networking bit. It's really about saving money...and I, as a female, am glad there's a gender preference just cuz I think I'd be more comfortable riding with another female.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Learn to Draw, Apr 4th, 2008 @ 9:54am

    Oh no..

    Is a shame really, I agree that it will be spammed soon enough..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Frank, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    social netwoking website

    I think that all are agree with social networking issue.

    thank for information...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Frank, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    sharing cab

    Its a great idea to share cab through social networking, it will not only save fuel and give opportunity to date someone but also give opportunity to know people around u.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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