With Facebook cruising near the altitude of one billion members, the company may give the impression that it has the final say on what our social networks of the future will look like. Yet evidence suggests that we’re not all entirely satisfied with what this 747 of friends and likes offers. This begs the question, “What’s next?”
The Holding Pattern
A number of startups are busily trying to pilot social platforms into different terrain. Without straining my memory back too deeply into 2012, I can recall writing about networks that center on the actual communities where we live (Nextdoor), literary pursuits (Wattpad), knowledge sharing (Neuros), sports (Bragstats), complaints (Gripevine), activities (Tivity), and just about any theme you can name.
At times it seems that social networks have already been established based on everything under the sun. The variety and quantity of social websites make it obvious that we’re still undecided about how we want our online worlds organized – and that entrepreneurs will continue to pitch a lot of alternatives to us.
Just Off The Runway
Still in beta, JetJoose is a social network tailored specifically to airline flight crews. Pilots and flight attendants can share tips about where to go and what to do on their layovers. They can keep tabs on where crew friends are (both living and traveling), share videos and photos from all their destinations, and share professional information related to airports and their unique schedules – with the intention of making their lives easier and more enjoyable. Hard to find fault with that purpose.
We already have our all-inclusive sites. Unless Facebook self-implodes, it will take an incredibly brilliant design or concept to lure users to a new experience, given how integrated it is into our personal and business lives at this point. Smaller, more boutique networks have far more potential to offer something different. Already, JetJoose has over 3,000 members.
While it’s great to keep tabs on friends and acquaintances, we often don’t have time to bother sifting through all the news our contacts bombard us with. Limiting the network to a professional field translates into quick access to information most relevant to our day-to-day working lives. Whether it’s discounts on work related tools or clothing, social meet ups, or basic info sharing, the JetJoose model looks to enhance our working lives. Since the time we spend related to work makes up a considerable portion of our time, this makes a lot of sense.
Prepare For Take Off
Another appeal of JetJoose is that it gives workers a place to swap stories and tips that might not be of interest to the general public, but that might be enormously entertaining or helpful to coworkers. Think of your job, whatever it might be, and ask yourself if you wouldn’t like something similar to JetJoose? Yes, LinkedIn connects us to other like professionals, but it lacks the social element that makes Facebook and Twitter so hard to turn away from.
JetJoose co-founder Ronan Keane found inspiration for his company from his wife, a flight attendant with a major U.S. carrier. The board of advisors is comprised of flight crew members as well. Look for the industry-specific attention of this D.C. startup to land in a profession like yours soon.