Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.
Demoing tonight at the ever-popular NY Tech Meetup, PeopleHunt is a new iPhone app which turns the idea of Meetups into spontaneous get-togethers based on “things you can show, tell or teach one another.”
At its core, PeopleHunt’s purpose is to help you surface knowledge and interesting experiences from people nearby. To make that a reality, the app taps into your Facebook groups, as well as community generated groups like “NY Tech Meetup” and “Startup Weekend.” These groups form a network of people whom you can connect with.
After setting up your groups, you can submit anything you’d like to share, for example: stories about traveling to India, delicious Mexican food recipes or even marketing advice. From there, interested people nearby (that are also in your network) will be able to introduce themselves. Likewise, you can also browse PeopleHunt for things you’d like to learn and discussions you’d like to initiate.
Like Meetup, PeopleHunt is all about using the digital world to bring people together offline, but it encourages significantly more serendipitous behavior. In other words, it’s what would happen if Plancast and Sonar had a baby.
The app itself has just left private beta status and is available globally, but is perhaps best suited for New Yorkers as it finds its footing.
As far as network effects go, creator Adrian Avendano tells us that “once you’ve connected with someone, if you trust them, you can give them access to get connected with people in your groups, and visa versa. The more access you get, the more knowledge and experiences show up in your feed and the more people you can get connected with.”
Down the road, Avendano says that he wants to “connect people not just one-on-one, but in small groups, as well as give relevant suggestions for upcoming events and nearby locations to meet in person.” He goes on, explaining that his team is “working on ways to keep track of who you get connected with, and soon you’ll be able to create groups and invite people within the app itself.”
PeopleHunt is undoubtedly a highly interesting experiment, and already shows quite a bit of viral potential. Try it for yourself for free via the link below, and feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Image credit: Jupiterimages / Thinkstock
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