Working hard…

In China “da-dian-di” (IV drip) is the cure-all for all common ailments and illnesses. Walk into a hospital with a stomach ache? “Da-dian-di” Headache? “Da-dian-di” Toothache? “Da-dian-di” However most people swear by it, saying that they can get over a cold in a day (whereas for most people like me it takes weeks).

Skye spent yesterday in the hospital getting his drip on after being diagnosed with bronchitis and looks like his cough is gone today! Pretty miraculous.

I’ve heard stories of doctors who bring IV drips to Las Vegas to rehydrate and cure hangovers so they can keep partying. I wonder if they prescribe IV drips for hangovers here in China? Gotta try it someday.

 

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Why the future is all about groups

Groups are a natural social structure in social behavior. We all have them and unconsciously organize them neatly in our heads and in our lives. Best friends from high school and those from college, colleagues from your first, second, and third jobs, and so forth. [ Paul Adams from Google does a great job at highlighting the way we manage our social groups offline in this presentation on “The Real Life Social Network.” ]

Although many early applications on the Internet were designed for individual use “groups” manifested in informal forms. Early Internet sites and blogs implemented link shares. Quake and Starcraft players formed clans. eCommerce buyers collaborated on forums to coordinate group buying.

Companies like Facebook, Groupon, and Blizzard caught on quickly and exploded in popularity. However, particularly in social networking (i.e. on Facebook), “the” group is getting too big.

Facebook no longer has the casualness of an college networking site that’s full of photos from frat parties and plastic cups. Today mom, dad, teachers, bosses, and even garbagemen are on Facebook, making it really really weird. Imagine walking into a bar and encountering all of these people – chances are you wouldn’t hang out there ever again. We are seeing similar reactions on Facebook as users begin self-censoring photos and comments, saving the juiciest bits to share privately via text message.

There is a similar phenomenon occuring in gaming as studies show that more “gamers are trending away from hardcore online games (i.e. massively-multiplayer online [MMO] games) in favor of social games on Facebook.” Partying at massive raves was fun for awhile, but its way more comfortable to hangout at the local bar with your buddies people that you know.

So as it turns out “massively-multi-player” was too “massive” for most people, whether it be in gaming or social networking. So what’s next?

The future is all about groups. Small groups.

GroupsThe indicators are there. Companies like GroupMe and FastSociety, apps that allow users to quickly create text message groups, are growing at 1000 users per day. Foursquare, which is allowing users to start over and rebuild their social graph with just people they want to share with (see this blog post), has just reached 2 million users.

The future is about groups.

Its about your group of best friends from college (close friends). The group of people you see every morning at Starbucks (locations). The group of people that you are hooking up with to get a great deal for yoga classes (interest groups/buying). The group of people you are sitting next to at a wedding or conference (events). Or the group of people that you’re playing Madden NFL with(gaming).

At Foxfly, we see a future in which social structures in our online world is aligned with those that we create and move in and out of naturally in the offline world. Where joining those groups online and via mobile is as simple as a touch of a button, and organizing those groups becomes unconscious part of our online social networking.

At Foxfly the future is about groups.

 


The Players

This is the first post of our development blog and we hope that you stay in touch as we count down to the first release of our group messaging application for the iPhone in mid-December. This blog will capture all the ups-and-downs of our development process and the decisions and memories we make along the way. So like any good movie let’s first get acquainted with the key players on our team!

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