Jyri Engeström wrote some time ago about the case for object-centered sociality: “‘social networking’ makes little sense if we leave out the objects that mediate the ties between people”. I could not agree with him more. The glue of each community is something that unites them – common interest, social object. When you join new social network, you typically start by building your social graph – re-establishing links to the real people you know, checking if they have already registered, inviting those whom you would like to see in the new environment. But there must be something beyond the initial phase of building the social graph. And this is the problem that haunts giants like Facebook and MySpace. You cannot possibly have common interest with everyone, and you don’t want to share the same things with everyone.
While Facebook is still growing strongly, it’s morphing into some sort of a generic social utility. Thanks to the Platform API there are all kinds of applications available on Facebook, some of them creating social objects (like Circle of Moms or Cities I’ve Visited), but it feels like true passions of people are quite rare in generic networks. When it comes to your most important hobbies, you might want to share your thoughts and data with other likeminded people and not necessarily with all aquaintances on Facebook. This is one of the reasons why specialized social networks are thriving. Dogster.com and catster.com are two perfect examples of such networks with very strong social objects. Mark Andreesen‘s creation Ning – a place where everyone can build own social network – already has hundreds of thousands of networks.
There are plenty of online training log services promoting weight management, wellness, healthy lifestyle, sport and exercise. There are many good and innovative services in this segment, but they’re all somewhat serious by definition (in a good way) – you need to be on a program to make perfect use of them.
There are also some useful advanced sports services, provided by giants like Nike, Polar and Nokia. These services are great for automatically collecting data about your exercises and utilizing it in various ways. They are targeting enthusiasts, who typically use heart rate monitors, GPS devices, altimeters and other equipment to monitor their progress.
Casual sports services
I believe Moozement established and defined this category – by combining social networking and online training logs in a casual way. It is so simple that anybody doing any kind of sports can use it and benefit from it. Simplicity and wide set of available sports sets it apart from all existing solutions. Moozement entry barrier is so low that you can literally connect to all your sporty friends. Moozement concentrates on the social aspect of physical activity, gives an opportunity to brag about your achievements, yet not taking it very seriously. You can log cycling 10km to work, or skiing 3km on Saturday afternoon, or even that you walked 50 stairs up the metro escalator. Every bit counts.
Let’s see where Moozement’s development curve will take it. For me it is a hobby project, but I can see a bright future in it.
Now I would encourage you to go to http://www.moozement.com and check it out for yourself. All feedback is welcome – I will make sure that it reaches developers.