WooMe, the online network for fast, virtual introductions recently secured another sizable round of funding and is closing in on 100,000 users just a few months after its launch. The site offers a place to host or join back to back speed sessions with people, live in voice and video.
WooMe is very easy to use and gets right down to its business: making people introductions faster and easier. Access to rich profiles prior to discussions, a privilege competitor Speeddate does not grant, makes the selection process slightly less hit-or-miss. In addition, within sessions, users can list their interests or preferred discussion topic keywords so that other Wooers can instantaneously relate.
This feature certainly facilitates discussion and alleviates some of the awkwardness of speed dating. When thinking about first dates or introductions, one often conjures up the agonizing memories of nervously firing questions, desperately searching for common ground. WooMe displays that common ground just as the first word is uttered.
Furthermore, much like the Facebook application Define Me, Wooers can choose words to describe each other. These tags are used on personal profiles to build reputations. These basic networking tools provide a decent amount of metadata to make the process of meeting people more enjoyable and relevant.
As others have suggested, WooMe has the potential to expand beyond speed dating. Interviewing for all sorts of purposes seems to be the logical step toward advancing the service, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not convinced that it is the right environmentÃ¢â‚¬”at least not currently. When I began interviewing for jobs, I made sure to update my various social networking profiles accordingly, removing information I felt might be deemed inappropriate by company insiders.
Access to my profiles is permission based, but there was always that looming Ã¢â‚¬Å“But what ifÃ¢â‚¬Â¦?Ã¢â‚¬Â If WooMe is to become a site for professional recruitment, access to profiles, defining characteristics and interests is going to have to be regulated because I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see an employer particularly appreciating an interest in Ã¢â‚¬Å“foreplayÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“kinkyÃ¢â‚¬Â as a defining characteristic. Or maybe he or she will, depending on the companyÃ¢â‚¬”only kidding.
The point is, if WooMe is to become a trusted platform for meeting other professionals, it will have to address the issue of the serviceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inherently casual nature. I doubt LinkedIn or Monster would be the success it is today if social or more personal information were readily available to users within the service.
But in the meantime, if you are into speed dating or other types of quick and casual conversations, give WooMe a spin.