Yep, right on the heels of the most fantastic event in the world (This IS the Pulse blog, ok? We do play favorites here. ) comes SXSW where seemingly millions of
techies show the world what the future will look like. And I don't mean the future of 20 years where Watson will be in everyone's hospital, library, or favorite consumer brand headquarters. I'm talking about the next 3-9 months. Did you know that you couldn't even "Like" something on Facebook until last April? And how many of you checked in anywhere at Foursquare or Gowalla until June, maybe July 2010?
Anyway, I'm going to make my prediction about which
entrepreneur will be crowned prom king or queen of SXSW and it's GroupMe co-founder Jared Hecht. Your first question is no doubt, "Pulse blogger, do you have a crystal ball?" And my answer would be, "No, I have a bug I clearly caught at SXSW yesterday that confined me to my bed today." This is why I have time to blog. I will now share the secret to becoming the darling of SXSW 2011:
Everyone knows that all you have to do to get elected most popular is give away stuff everyone wants. In some circles you might call that earmarking. GroupMe calls it grilled cheese. Here's how it worked: GroupMe set up a mobile kitchen right outside the Austin Convention Center and gave away free grilled cheese sandwiches and soda to those who sported the GroupMe logo which consists of a pound sign + smiley face.
Here's the part where I quote CNN because I am too lazy (and queasy) to describe this social media toddler
rising star in my own words:
"GroupMe, which lets users create “private social networks” with their friends over text messages" and "It’s the rage of SXSWi this year, which is saying something considering this place helped launch Twitter and Foursquare. Here’s the gist: Phones can send a single text message to several people, but you can’t “reply all” to those messages as you could on e-mail, Hecht said. Hence, GroupMe – and competitors like Beluga, kik and Fast Society – lets users create “groups” of friends and co-workers who they can chat with over text. Send a message to the group and all of its members get the text, either in the app, where it uses a phone's data plan, or as a standard SMS.
" Get the whole CNN story.
And now you're wondering if I am sick because I indulged in the free sandwich. I did not. It's not that I am above accepting a free meal. But I live with two very small aliens who refuse to eat food unless it is made of cheese: cheese pizza, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese . . . My palate has matured
moved on from grilled cheese so I passed, went inside and paid $14 for a shaved turkey sandwich. So no, I am not featuring GroupMe in the Pulse blog because I am "drinking the koolaid" (which will now be referred to here as "eating the grilled cheese"). But I can totally see the value in GroupMe since I can barely text the one person who shares responsibility for my aliens to pick up a quart of milk without misspelling 80% of the words.
Let's check back next year to see how many of you are "eating the grilled cheese."