Fatdoor aims to connect you with your neighbors by providing a localized social network for your physical community. Although the site will be in private beta until the spring of 2008, a handful of details have been publicly available since at least June. The website will integrate with Microsoft Virtual Earth to display local business and residential listings on an interactive map. Once users claim their listings, they can add profiles and put down their interests. Users can then plan events and form local interest groups with the site.Fatdoor will also pull in information from other web services such as business reviews from Yelp, events listings, and driving directions. Users will be able to add their own business reviews but they won’t be displayed outside of the network on Yelp’s website. Fatdoor’s homepage will display something akin to the Facebook news feed with information about upcoming events and recently created groups.
So my FatDoor scorecard reads… great space with huge potential, new CEO with impressive credentials, money to burn… this could prove interesting. Or not… time will tell.
Most Silicon Valley successes are made by roping in some small percentage of the population over a huge geographical expanse… e.g., 5% of the United States on board some website would be 15 million people… yipee.
But to succeed at the local or neighborhood level, you need a relatively large percent of the population in a small area (e.g., our Front Porch Forum has 25% of our pilot city registered, but Burlington, VT only contains a fraction of 1% of the U.S. population). This is a very different game and one that most mainstream dot.coms and start-ups aren’t pursuing well or at all… thus the opportunity.