Holla@Me: A New Social Networking Experience

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A software developer in TechCity, London’s Silicon Valley has invented an algorithm for connecting users in a social networking environment that uses the technology behind QR Codes (a type of barcode) and real life interactions to connect users in a way that until last week was thought impossible or too complex to achieve in a social networking environment.

Holla@Me

Everyday we almost certainly wave at someone, say hi/hello, perhaps you share a common interest, it’s done so effortlessly with friendship and everything else following from these basic interactions. Doing it online shouldn’t be any different.

Holla@Me is a new social networking service that went live earlier this month and enables users to connect and stay in touch using a variety of real life concepts and new technology. “…this raises the bar for social networking and it begins with the basics”, said Stine Chenge, Holla@Me Founder and CEO. “Take a stroll down your street, you will almost certainly wave at someone, say hi/hello, perhaps you share a common interest, it’s done so effortlessly with friendship and everything else following from these basic interactions. Doing it online shouldn’t be any different.”

Various real life concepts like Strolling, Waving, saying Hi/Hello (Hollaring), and gestures are incorporated into the service while technology and complex algorithms allows for smart connectivity and staying in touch via the use of QR Codes generated for every user. On mobile devices a quick scan can perform a number of actions including waving at someone or connecting with them. This QR Code can be printed/included on almost anything. Other notable new features include the ‘Shuffling Feeds’, Embedded Chats, and the unique Tagging functionality ensuring no tagging of users in random photos.

To create a real life experience, Holla@Me envisaged the world as a community where everyone is unique (with a unique QR Code), but all connected via access to a world wide web e.g. computer, mobile devices etc. Users in this community are from and live in a ‘Neighborhood’ .e.g. New York, London where taking a stroll (Strolling) can bring them in contact with others in the neighbourhood enabling them to engage by waving or having a conversation (Holla or HollaBack). Strolling also keeps users up to date with what’s happening in various neighbourhoods, including what’s being talked about. When you have a quick conversation with a user you become ‘Neighbors’, who are limited to certain actions e.g. waving or having an open conversation and having access to some feed/activities. As Neighbors complex algorithms steer you towards becoming friends based on your interactions allowing users total control in a more realistic way. Friendship goes further allowing friends to send messages, chat or comment on each other’s pictures, with conversations and activities remaining private.

Holla@Me began in the autumn of 2003, when Stine (then 17 years old) started developing an algorithm to create a network to enable him stay in touch with his friends, family and people around him. With no mobile device barcoding technology he went to College at the School of Law in Edgbaston, University of Birmingham in 2004 where he continued developing the algorithm adding new features until his graduation in 2007. Over the years he worked temporary in Music & Entertainment and as a software developer making display ads which ran on sites like MySpace. He subsequently obtained multiple seed investments from Angel Investors including a wealthy businessman enabling him to complete Holla@Me (http://www.holla.com). It is privately owned under the company Holla Media Limited.

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