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Who lives near here?

Telecommunications

Singapore's WhoLivesNearYou.com can help citizens to get to know their neighbors, while building the next Friendster/Orkut/Craig's List and what have you.

Springwise believes the internet will remain the harbinger of value innovation for years to come. Take start-up Who Lives Near You from Singapore; a Friendster-esque creation of two Singaporeans looking to revive the kampong spirit i.e. the tight-knit and much-missed community feel of traditional villages. WhoLivesNearYou.com’s homepage in July 2004 started posing questions like ‘ever seen a neighbor that you have always wanted to get to know but didn’t have the courage to talk to?’ and ‘want to get to know people working or studying in the same area as you so you can share a car?’ The response from Singaporean surfers so far has been very promising! How does it work? WhoLivesNearYou.com Postal code-based registration allows users to chat or arrange live meets with people in their immediate neighborhood. Neighbors are categorized by their proximity – in the same block, within a one-block radius, and within a 15-minute walk. The site had 4,000 registrations within two days of its early July launch and currently has more than 50,000 subscribers, most between the ages of 18 and 30. (Source: Straits Times.) Where will the money come from? The service is free now, but it isn’t hard to see how Who Lives Near You could eventually charge for membership. The real beauty of this new business concept is of course the opportunity to sell more-local-than-thou advertising space – local being the holy grail for advertisers right now, from the Googles, Ebays and Yahoos to the Yellow Pages and the Match.coms of this world (just think about the online dating opportunities for this one!!)

Opportunities

Globalization created a thirst for the new and the exotic, while also fueling local pride and nostalgia. And that’s not just a baby boomer thing — look to younger demos too, and methods of servicing unique micro-regional needs. The ‘WhoLivesNearYou’ concept would work in any major city. It’s easy to set up, and fun too. And as Ebay just bought 25% of Craig’s List, why would Springwise not be surprised if they or Google (sitting on a pile of post-IPO dough, not to mention their Orkut service) would be happy to guzzle up WhoLivesNearYou-me-toos all around the globe? May we suggest you get started on your own WhoLivesNearYou in Stockholm, Sydney, Sao Paulo, or Seattle NOW!?

Website: www.wholivesnearyou.com/

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