I saw the press releases via TechCrunch announcing FanPulse a new iPhone app just days before the SuperBowl.

Now I love the concept of connecting fans (so much so it’s our tag line) but after playing with the FanPulse app I was disappointed with my initial experience.

FanPulse relies upon the user to grow their on network by inviting friends via the usual methods – Twitter, Facebook & Address Book.  As a new app it needs to “lift it’s eyes” (to use an over-used sports cliche) and have some vision for the application.  This approach limits the fan to only connecting with fans they know, it goes against the model of two of the web’s biggest movers – Twitter & Foursquare.  The release did not gain momentum released too close to the SuperBowl with only 139 check-ins to the big game.

It is hard to get traction with FanPulse if it only works if the onus is on you to get friends to join up.

Is there a rule that you can’t make new friends as an adult? According to Jerry Seinfeld yes (please indulge a Seinfeld fan).

When you’re in your thirties it’s very hard to make a new friend. Whatever the
group is that you’ve got now that’s who you’re going with. you’re not
interviewing, you’re not looking at any new people, you’re not interested in
seeing any applications. They don’t know the places. They don’t know the food.
They don’t know the activities, If I meet a guy in a club on the gym or
someplace I’m sure you’re a very nice person you seem to have a lot of
potential, but we’re just not hiring right now. Of course when you’re a kid,
you can be friends with anybody. Remember when you were a little kid what were
the qualifications? If someone’s in front of my house NOW, That’s my friend,
they’re my friend. That’s it. Are you a grown up.? No. Great! Come on in. Jump
up and down on my bed. And if you have anything in common at all, You like
Cherry Soda? I like Cherry Soda! We’ll be best friends!

But I digress, as someone who lives in the Web 2.0 world I disagree with Jerry as social networking platforms like Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook & LinkedIn allow you can make new friends & connections.  What FanPulse needs is to add the ability to befriend other fans who have checked into the sports event as Foursquare does and as Twitter offers with it’s Nearby functionality.  This would make the app instantly more enjoyable as you can start shouting to other fans “virtually” attending the game.

As I blogged prior to my #sportsgeektrip I was hoping Foursquare would provide value.  What Foursquare allowed me to do was connect with fans in the stadium and send friend requests to those fans.  It allowed me to connect with sports fans in a foreign city as well as find out where they go before & after games.

Check out the Foursquare pages I attended games at:

Look at the Foursquare stats on those stadia! If you’re not excited about that data and what it means for sports then you’re in the wrong game.

Now I’m not writing off FanPulse but the key to a successful social network is numbers whether they be followers, friends or fans.  A few tweaks in the application to allow easy connecting with fans and it could take off.

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