I am sitting at the Seattle airport writing this and getting slowly frustrated with winter travel and canceled flights. This led me to think about a couple of ideas around social networking and the power of crowds:
1. When I get unexpectedly stuck in a location – wouldn’t it be nice if I could reach out to my network to quickly and easily find out who is based in a given location and willing to meet with me? Yes, I could use our CRM system and find out which customers are here and make impromptu calls, but it would be so much more powerful if I could poll a database of people with similar interests and who would have a flag up that tells that they’re willing to talk or meet. I could then send a broadcast message to reach out to them and invite them to a dinner, coffee or drinks and discuss topics of common interest.
2. Why is it that it’s always a traveler’s responsibility to figure out what’s going on with the airlines or other means of travel? Transportation providers have our email addresses and cell phone numbers, but they typically offer no proactive means to communicate with us to let us know about delays, schedule changes, cancellations, etc. With this in mind, there’s actually a small community-driven commute service up in Montclair, NJ (and they are expanding) called www.clevercommute.com. This is a fabulous service that lets the community to alert each other through emails and WAP-enabled phones whenever situations occur.
While a little different than commuter traffic, having such a proactive communication system for fast breaking legal issues would, I think, fit well into the legal space where timing can make a huge difference. I would love to hear from the legal community how we could create or adapt some of these new Web 2.0 capabilities into our industry and enhance the dialog we have with our clients.