Video: Hot Potato Turns Events Into Social Streams

Sometime over the last year you’ve marveled at the intersection of a real-time event and your social graph, whether it’s an earthquake, a big occasion like the Obama inauguration, or a football game for your alma mater. Suddenly, everything aligns in your Facebook and/or Twitter feed!

But surely, these communal, relevant, timely interactions can be made more so — whether by making connections with friends in advance, filtering out off-topic messages, or syncing to whatever device you’re on at the time. And a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup called Hot Potato is trying to do just that. We’d heard a bit about what the company was doing through the grapevine, knew it was started by some Major League Baseball Advanced Media alums and funded by RRE, First Round, Betaworks, SV Angel, Allen Morgan and other angels.

http://blip.tv/play/AYGxmi4C

Hot Potato CEO Justin Shaffer came out to San Francisco on Friday to launch the company, and we interviewed him while he was here (see video embedded above). Honestly, there’s not a lot there in the product yet, and the Hot Potato iPhone app still hasn’t made it through Apple’s birthing process — but it’s interesting to see how the company is treating just about anything in life (car shopping, a WiFi-enabled plane flight) like a big-time event. In the video, Shaffer talks about how the service works, how he plans to monetize it, what platforms are up next, and what kind of usage he expects.

For me, Hot Potato will have to prove its value for smaller and more private use cases vs. Facebook, but I’m already sold on major public news, concert and sports events — especially the startup’s promise to filter thousands of updates into just the ones most relevant to me.

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