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Five online services for getting together offline

Lifestyle & Leisure

Long gone are the days when “online” was synonymous with social isolation. In fact, we’re now witnessing the opposite: technology is driving people to connect and meet up with others in the “real world”. This mass mingling makes for an interesting trend, begging to be turned into new services for consumers. Here are five such services: 1. MEETUP EVERYWHERE — Meetup’s new service, Meetup Everywhere, is an open and free platform that helps people build communities based on a common interest. Organisers can map offline gatherings and share announcements and updates through Facebook and Twitter accounts. One recent initiative: ReadyMade magazine partnering with Etsy.com to encourage DIY crafters to host local “craft-ups”. 2. GATSBY — Gatsby is a mobile app that introduces people according to shared interests and locations, using Foursquare. Users tell Gatsby their Foursquare account details and describe their interests. Gatsby then searches for like-minded people locally and texts them with first names and what they have in common. 3. LOOPT MIX — Loopt Mix is a free iPhone app for finding and chatting to other users nearby. Users identify shared interests by means of tags and preferences on their personal profiles. There’s also a set of search filters for ad hoc link-ups. Favoured contacts can be flagged to provide users with quick access to their core social circle. 4. STREETSPARK — Another iPhone app using location to get people in touch, StreetSpark has a specifically romantic intent. Users describe themselves and the kind of person they hope to meet. The app then informs them when a possible match is nearby. No contact information is divulged automatically; people can chat and choose whether or not to identify themselves. 5. LOVESTRUCK — Also in the match-making business, UK-based Lovestruck is aimed at single professionals. The website and mobile apps use work locations as a base to link potential lovers. Customers can display their availability through status updates, and iPhone owners can also see if other users are in their current vicinity when they’re on the move. For more examples of MASS MINGLING, read this month’s trend briefing by trendwatching.com >>

Website: prod.springwise.pro.pugpig.com/massmingling/

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