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Unsocial Event Networking App : Hands On

This past week I attended the Mobile 2.0 conference in San Francisco (opens in new tab). The event organisers had partnered with Unsocial (opens in new tab), who have built an event networking app which is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Unsocial aims to solve the two most common problems facing anyone that has ever attended a business event or conference:

1. Just how do you know which people in the room you should seek out and speak to?

2. Who in the room do I already have a connection with?

The app aims to solve these issues by connecting to your LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab) to help sign post people at the event, plus you can add tags to your Unsocial profile to help match make you with people interested in the same topics.

From the app home screen you can access all the key functions of the app. As you can see from the screen shot, I was tackling the key issues facing the mobile industry that day!

You can search for other people who are using the app including a distance indicator; ‘Inbox’ allows you to message people from within the app, useful when you may not wish to share your personal contact information; from the ‘Profile’ section you can update your personal information; within ‘tagged’ you can auto tag people based on your specified tag topics; search is self-explanatory; plus you can invite friends to join, and take notes from within the app.

However where everything really comes to life is within ‘Events’. If an event has signed up as a ‘Premium’ event with Unsocial, then a whole bunch of additional options appear.

A new, event specific, menu is presented when you click on the Premium event in the calendar view. There is banner space at the top of the screen ensuring a joined up marketing experience for sponsors of the event in question.

From the event menu it is now possible to interact with people in attendance; follow the Twitter conversation from the event hashtag; enter competitions being run at the event; read speaker profiles; check the event location; sponsor information; read the event agenda and get directions.

Having used the app first hand at Mobile 2.0 I have to say I’m impressed. If you have a lot of followers on social media, often you have never met some of them in person. The app is great for flagging attendees who you are already connected to on LinkedIn. It would be great to extend this to other networks like flagging your Twitter followers, etc.

The only missing feature is meeting scheduling. Maybe a mash up with social meeting service like Meeting Wizard, Doodle or event sites like Plancast could be a nice next step (ed : note that it is not available on Windows Phone yet).

An interview with the EVP of Product of Unsocial will be published tomorrow. So stay tuned!

A Chartered Marketer, who is working hard to ensure Telco's suck just a little less everyday, James leads marketing for BlueVia, the new developer platform from Telefonica. In addition he is a global board member of the Mobile Entertainment Forum and chairs the Technology Market Interest Group of The Chartered Institute of Marketing, the worlds largest organisation for professional marketers. He is also a regular panellist, speaker, blogger, industry awards judge and lecturer. Throughout a 20 year career in the tech, web and mobile sectors, James has successfully developed and deployed over 25 major products and services, featuring 20 UK market firsts, including BlueVia, O2 Litmus, MMS, mobile video, mobile music downloads, and the UK DVB-H Broadcast TV trial in Oxford during 2005.