There are already a variety of meet-up planning services from Yahoo’s Upcoming to newer entrants like Plancast, but what about if you’re new in town or want to get involved in a new ‘scene’ and don’t know where to start?
LikeOurselves aims to solve this problem with with a geolocation service for people who want to meet others for the first time “Without planning, formality and without the awkwardness of a meet and greet.”
Once signed up, users can select the type of people they’d like to meet based on categories like ‘Students’, ‘Hobbies’ and ‘Spontaneous date’. A series of tags for each category help narrow down potential matches. Then, when you’re out and about you can use the service’s mobile website to locate nearby matches. A “dual opt-in” system helps ensure that both people are happy to meet. At present the categories users can sign up to are quite limited but LikeOurselves co-founder Pardeep Kullar tells us that the next stage is to open the service up to user-created categories and tags.
“We are doing something quite different from Foursquare, Gowalla and others, partly as we came to this idea without any knowledge of those services and so we’ve taken a different path”, says Kullar. “We see it as a service for anyone with an existing base of users e.g. bloggers, universities, neighbourhood hyperlocal sites, artists (e.g. Lady Gaga fans) etc.” He also believes that the service, which its founders have bootstrapped thus far, is the perfect antidote to the problem of alienation caused by social media, which we discussed recently.
With a very limited userbase at this early stage, you might find the service a little empty right now. However, the development team is running regular beta test days in London to help gain user feedback. The next of these is this Thursday 12 August; you can find more information on the LikeOurselves blog. LikeOurselves has also set up a category for The Next Web readers to find each other in case you fancy meeting up to talk about us behind our backs – be nice!