A few years back, when I was unwell, I took a vow that I would try and reach out to one person from my past and talk to them on the phone every day. I have done that for nearly four years, though given the size of my rolodex, I am yet to go through the list twice. These don’t include people I currently work or socialize with, or have established relationships in past 12 months. The experience that follows this one-on-one connection is quite rewarding — people are surprised that you remember or that you care to get in touch.
So, yesterday when I came across Pipe, I knew I had to share it with you guys. (Don’t confuse it with the file-sharing app that launched a few weeks ago. My colleague David Meyer wrote about them for GigaOM Europe.) The idea behind the app is basic and simple — it sifts through your social graph and encourages you to get in touch with one person on your list.
The app finds a person, shows some of their basic details, including their social networking identities and offers a plain and simple box to write and send them messages. You can email them, or send them messages via Twitter or LinkedIn. If you don’t want to connect with them today, you can tell the service to remind you later. Or you can simply ignore someone forever and the system will banish them to social networking hell. Pipe is working on Facebook integration, so for now you need a LinkedIn account to use it.
I sadly don’t have a LinkedIn account anymore, so I haven’t used the app. However, when they add Facebook support, I will use the app on a more regular basis. The Pipe app comes at an opportune time. As more and more networks proliferate, we are getting bogged down in frivolous updates but not really connecting with one another.
I must warn you, the app is very raw and the company is tiny and has few resources. At best it is in alpha-stage and currently works on both mobile and regular web browers. If you do end up trying, leave a comment or suggestion here. Also, please don’t judge them for what they don’t have, instead, think about it as a tool to make social networks what they are really meant for — for us being more social.