New mobile ‘social networks’
This is “the year of social networks” for cellphones, CNET reported in its coverage of last week’s mobile-phone-industry trade show. So it reviews five “shiny, new” examples: Bluepulse, a social service really just for phones (looks bad on a desktop); UK-based Trutap, which is “more a mobile facilitator than pure mobile social network”; Utterz, which is more about “pushing mobile-generated content to the Web” (photos, video, audio comments you make, and of course text); and Whrrl and Rummble, facilitators of socializing in person (using GPS or geo-location tech. These, however, are merely five drops in an ocean of socially oriented services targeting the cellphone platform. To get a feel for sheer numbers, see a librarian’s list of dozens last March (some of these startups may’ve folded by now). I separately just heard about another one: SpinVox. With “voice-to-screen” as its tagline, it says it “seamlessly marries the mobile and online realms” by converting a voice message to a text one, then sends it to one friend, many friends, a blog, or a profile (see SpinVox.com).