I just saw a video by Scoble about Urbanseeder, an interesting social networking site that’s basically made for… flirting. Let me try to explain. Imagine you’re at a bar and you start chatting with a nice girl. You like her, but it’s nearing the end of the night and it’s time to go home. You’re not at the your-house-or-my-house phase just yet, so you need a more subtle method of contacting each other. Problem is, if you give her your phone number or e-mail and the girl turns out to be a crazy psycho bitch, the damage is already done. She can harass you whenever she wants. Or maybe not even that bad, but she ends up just being boring yet very interested in you and keeps calling at inopportune moments, asking for some attention. Furthermore, she can spread that number or e-mail address to other people whom you know nothing about (I still have a few numbers in my phone like that, purely for the purpose of crankcalling at night with caller ID switched off. College students, eh?)
That’s where Urbanseeder comes in. It generates a seed, which is basically a number, which enables a contact between your profile and the person who enters the seed. No other contact information is exchanged. Through this seed, this person can chat and mail with you. If you stop liking this person or the person stops liking you, just kill the seed (it works both ways). Since no actual contact information was exchanged, this ends the conversation permanently. Kinda like the ultimate in permission marketing. To make it even better, you can link your data from other social sites like Flickr and Upcoming into your Urbanseed profile. The other person can see your photos and the events you’re going to, but has no direct access to the Flickr or Upcoming profile itself. If you kill the seed, you’re gone from her life.

I’m interested in seeing where this goes. I don’t see myself handing a girl a seed in a bar just quite yet (then again, years ago you were a fucking nerd if you asked a girl if she had ICQ or MSN, who knows where we’ll go) but I signed up for the beta anyway.

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