I've attended Web Innovators meeting last night, which was a great event (amazing turnout!). One of the presenters was Robin Chase from GoLoCo. A community ride-sharing Facebook application:
"Members fill out profiles that now seem very familiar. In the manner of sites like Facebook or Friendster, people list interests, languages, musical preferences and a network of friends or contacts.
After a trip, members are asked whether they would personally ride with their fellow passengers again, building a reliable first-hand database of feedback.
GoLoco not only helps members find a driver or more passengers but automatically divvies up the costs (and carbon-dioxide emissions) between the riders. Money is transferred via online accounts, to avoid awkwardness in the car."
It's all very timely: social networking, Facebook application (including payment solution), supporting ride sharing to stop global warming, all the right words. They've built a really cool rich application, including payment solution to compensate the driver. this is all very cool and you should check it out.
I then asked Robin about the potential in extending the ride sharing experience to mobile: Phones today have location capabilities, people can predefine their set of destinations, and so the whole experience can also be enabled on an ad-hoc basis: I'm here, I'd like a ride to there in the next 30 minutes, whose on my way?
I really think this could be a meaningful extension to the web experience that would maybe double the transactions by people on the move. I'm guessing GoLoCo are on top of it :-)
BTW, Robin previously founded Zipcar, a highly innovative and successful idea in itself: "Founded in June 2000, Zipcar has been doubling in size year by year, and now has more than 100,000 members in 10 cities across the country". It was very enjoyable hearing her speak. Do I sound like a fan?
Next week Mobile Monday Boston is having a very interesting event on Mobile Social Networking. check it out here.