Whether the venue is a local bar or a professional conference, we all meet people whose identities and contact information slip away before we can establish a more meaningful connection.
Although missed connections sections in personals and classifieds make for great reading on a boring Tuesday night, some kind of more powerful tool - with a greater share of the market - is needed to act as a beacon between social and professional ships passing in the night. One site among several devoted to this cause is the shiny, new Blinka.me, a very 2.0 version of your local alternative weekly's back pages.
On this site, users are invited to create accounts using Facebook Connect or a manual signup process. They then can share "moments" of various types or browse "hot spots" to find out where locals are meeting and connecting - or missing connections - in a given area.
Duncan Shand, Blinka's CEO, wrote us in an email, "The core difference with our site over other 'missed connection' sites is that we're not a classified listings site. On Blinka.me you put in your moment. If the other person does too, then our system will register a match based on location and time and automatically send an email notification.
"In fact we have a patent pending around the matching method, so if this goes through, things could get interesting."
Shand has been working on Blinka for the past year. The site has been live for 12 weeks and is halfway through its beta testing period.
So far, the majority of data is geographically centered in New Zealand and Australia, but more users in the U.S. and other countries would generate more data, add more hot spots, create more moments, and ultimately expand the site's reach.
Blinka has a bright, simple UI that makes the site a pleasure to use. This startup's success comes down to gaining a critical mass of users who frequent the same pubs or attend the same conferences. We can see the site going over well through a lobbycon campaign at tech conferences, getting inebriated early adopters to sign up, post moments, and reconnect with one another.
Check out this video from Blinka, and let us know what you think of this service in the comments.