Should Hotels Have Social Networks

hotel I think about this all the time. I want loosely joined social networks for those times when we’ve got an opportunity to meet like-minded people. When I visited the famous Nikko hotel in San Francisco a few months back, I saw all kinds of interesting people in the lobby. At conferences, I’m always wondering who from the event might be at the hotel where I’m staying. I think there’s something to it, but only if done right.

Ideas for a Hotel Social Network

Here are some ideas. Could you think on this too? What would you add?

  • Opt in. HAS to be opt-in.
  • Levels of privacy. Should have an anon email washer like Craigslist, but then options for “revealing” further info.
  • Monitoring. I suppose legal restrictions and good community would require someone to watch the community (which gave me a whole other idea for another post).
  • Some kind of questionnaire. I might want to be able to filter, like LinkedIn, the reasons why someone might want to reach me, and what I’m up for, or not.

Seems like a start. What else?

What Not to Do

I think there are some pitfalls to this, too. Lots of ways it could be implemented poorly.

  • Require hefty registration processes. Make it easier than that. Room #, email address (validated), and then profile info and options, only.
  • Advertising thinly would be okay, but too much wouldn’t work nicely. Besides, this should be a $5 addition to your bill, like a movie rental.
  • Push any kind of “singles” agenda. You don’t want to become the hookup hotel. Um, unless you do.
  • Allow 3rd party vending of that information. That’s just Beacon.

Some Cool Things

Okay, well I think they’re cool. What do you think?

  • Text messaging arbitrage to allow for temporary text access to other opted-in guests for the duration (meaning you don’t exchange cell numbers – like Twitter).
  • Potential for guest-organized collaboration. What if fourteen musicians found out they were staying in the same place? Jam session?
  • Green opportunities, like ride sharing and/or recreational meetups.

Crazy? Interesting? Can’t Work?

And if it’s all of that, or not all of that, or you think it’s interesting, why hasn’t someone done it?

The Social Media 100 is a project by Chris Brogan dedicated to writing 100 useful blog posts in a row about the tools, techniques, and strategies behind using social media for your business, your organization, or your own personal interests. Swing by [chrisbrogan.com] for more posts in the series, and if you have topic ideas, feel free to share them, as this is a group project, and your opinion matters.

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Photo credit, dave_mcmt

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