We Harlem is a social network for residents in the Harlem region of New York City. It was set up just a few months ago, and has been enthusiastically received by Harlem residents.
We Harlem gives users a very personal and localised experience, with the means to interact and make connections with other people in the neighbourhood, find out about forthcoming events, or up and coming bars, clubs and restaurants.
The site is the brainchild of Sergio Lilavois, who set up We Harlem because he recognised that local residents in the Harlem region of New York needed a more effective way to find out what was happening in the community. At the moment, the site is free, but eventually, Sergio hopes to support the network with advertising revenue from those local firms.
Key to the networks success is that is so tailored to its niche audience. Lilavois belives that Twitter is too big, so wanted to create something far more focused. However, he also wanted to focus on the content, not the technology, so rather than building the service from scratch, he investigated the market to see if anyone provided white-label microblogging and settle on the DIY social network creation too from Shoutem. Shoutem stood out from the crowd, says Lilavois.
Shoutem enables users to easily and quickly create their own mobile-optimised social networks that are private, location-based and targeted to niche groups. Networks can be created in just minutes. Currently free to download, Shoutem includes mobile apps for the iPhone and Blackberry handsets.
Shoutem is the best fit for what we are looking for: good features, reliable technology and the Shoutem team has been very responsive and efficient, says Lilavois. I like the flow of Shoutem: it is not complicated and people can easily see what to do. Its a very user-friendly interface.
Lilavois is an enthusiastic supporter of the mobile, location-based features included within Shoutem. People spend a lot of their time communicating on their mobiles. 50% of the time Im logged into Shoutem myself its from my mobile device. Its great that theres a mobile application for Shoutem, not just an API. Its meant we havent needed to develop it ourselves, he says.
Shoutem says that Lilavois experience with We Harlem shows that the marketing potential of mobile social networks is now within reach of anyone with a great idea, regardless of their technology experience or budget.