A simple new service that I enjoy is timehop, which emails you little remembrances about your life it pulls from your social networks. It’s one of those ideas that’s so simple but provides a good deal of delight. Today, a year ago, I was with Sara and close friends up in wine country, and timehop sent me a great picture of her at the Artesa Winery.
But in the back of my head, I knew I had also done something interesting that day as well. As I was going back through some of my first posts on TechCrunch, I wrote this piece about what I felt was going to be the next trend in social. At the time, we had just seen the beginnings of the Arab Spring spread through the Middle East and North Africa, and it occurred to me that we may see something analogous happen here in the U.S., of course in different ways. That proved largely to be correct. Products like Facebook became even more important for U.S. politics and organizing, Twitter has become the de facto commenting system during debates and primary results nights, and newer companies like Square, Klout, and Quora are working with campaigns and the establishment in D.C. to increase engagement on both sides.
In the piece, I mentioned a small company that I didn’t know much about: Votizen. Here’s a brief excerpt:
All of this activity got me thinking about what will be the next phase in the social networking revolution, what will reach mass consumer scale, be global, and generate real social and financial impact. There’s perhaps no greater market to disrupt. The fast-moving nature of politics today, whether in “mature” markets such as America or “new markets” such as in Egypt, have paved the way for individuals to express themselves and their interests in a political context. Governments and elected officials may ultimately have no choice but to monitor and cater to these activities. This could be the start of the next mass consumer trend, political expression and organization via social networks directly to elected government officials.