April 19, 2011

Flapon Flaps Into World of Topic Based Social Networking

No doubt unperturbed by Liz Gannes' panning of their "Flap On, Flap Off" branding, Flapon introduced itself Monday morning as a life-stream integrated social network aimed to help people find each other based on similar interests and shared topics. The approach, previously tried by the now-defunct Simler, Socialmedian and others, hopes that people's collaboration around mutual interests will encourage positive relationships, and enable people to share insights that bring value to other members of the community.

The main area of Flapon is referred to as the Stream. The Stream is comprised of "Flaps" from users on any topic. Essentially, the alpha version presents the public stream of all topics in the central space. Each Flap can be slugged with multiple topics, each of which can be clicked to find other discussions on that topic. And while you can add many different topics to each Flap, and be quite creative in your choice of tagging, Flapon comes bearing a full library of topics. This aids in creation of new content - for example, if you post on Conan O'Brien and want to tag the post as "Comedy", start writing, and like Google Instant, it autopopulates a list of options.

The Flaps Make Streams

A Flap on Late Night TV, Slugged as Comedy, TV and Television

Each item is self contained, getting its own permalink, with statistics on reads, as well as the option to vote posts up and down. You can comment on the original Flap, or reply to extend the conversation. Unsurprisingly, you can click on the profile of each Flap author to gain their bio, and Flap history. If you try hard, you can think of it as being Quora-like, without any leading questions. You just post what you're thinking, tag it, and keep going.

Creating a Flap With Images from Google

In its infancy, you of course won't find answers to every query. Searching for "Baseball" lands a single post on amazing facts. The phrase "Social media" has many dozens, reflecting the service's earliest users.

Assuming one of the core cruxes of social networking is social, it's likely only the bravest of cutting edge early adopters will find themselves posting to Flapon instead of the more popular destinations. The tagging of content is good, as is discovery of new posters and immediacy of feedback, such as posts and views. Addition of photos to each Flap is pretty simple as well, as you can pull from Google's massive image search repository.

If you want to get flapping with Flapon, just head to http://www.flapon.com to check it out. Maybe you'll enjoy the option of talking in more than 140 characters again, or you'll like seeing a public stream in its infancy stages.

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