MyStrands: A mobile social networking system for parties ..

mystrands.JPG

Even in the early days of the ipod, there was a trend among party goers to ‘bring their own music’ to the party (i.e. their music in their own iPod which they wanted to dock in at the event and play it).

With the rise of social networking/mobility, there is the possibility of adding a ‘social network’ element to this activity. In that sense, a service like Partystrands (powered by mystrands ) is a logical extension to this function of bringing your own music. The service seeks to extend the idea of ‘sharing’ music at a party by sending SMS messages about their preferences (and also other messages). These messages are analysed and the playlist is updated based on the aggregated text messages. The screen has other social features like listing names of people at a party, what song is being played, what’s next etc etc.

All this is simple, and frankly pretty mundane.

Mystrands/Partystrands has got some interesting coverage at techcrunch and mobhappy

I am not a ‘party’ person .. So, I am not going to comment on the concept itself.

However, I find this concept interesting for some different reasons ..

Firstly, I am always interested in things that blur the boundary between the Web and the Mobile Web and also the physical and the mobile worlds. Aggregating musical tastes is OK .. but more interesting is the fact that if you are a MyStrands, MySpace, or Last.fm user, you can text your alias in any of these communities, and your music behaviour (as expressed in any of these online communities) will influence the music being played at the bar. This means, you can import your xml profile from last.fm for example into your mystrands profile(knowing your alias), so together this will influence your new profile you’re using.

The second interesting element is it’s mobile component. You can follow the ‘party’ from your mobile browser. This means, you can ‘peek into’ the party from your mobile phone in real time to see if it’s of interest. For instance, what bars are now active, what music is being played, who is at the bar, and what text messages are being sent etc etc ..

You can see this at their mobile site. Choose country, take a venue, see it’s info, a location map, check it’s users, the music

played, pictures uploaded by users, etc… and a demo of the mobile service can be seen at the mystrands blog

A forthcoming Symbian client also allows you to listen to recommendation samples on your mobile through real player or media player…

It is these ‘sharing type’ features which make the famous Tomi Ahonen/Alan Moore discussion about the demise of the iPod (the iPod vs. mobile phone argument) significant. While currently, the iPod provides a superior listening experience, the phone is catching up fast and also the added ability to share immediately would be significant in future.

Some more cool features at their lab site

Many thanks to Rudy De Waele for answering my numerous questions about this service!