Category Archives: Social Networks

Zenergo Launches Activity-Based Social Network; Gives Active Consumers New Starting Line

Zenergo.com

 Zenergo Connects People Based on Sports, Hobbies and General Interests; Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Team In Training Chapter Among First to Join 

Mountain View, CA—May 5, 2011—The “lean forward” aspect of social media received an energy boost today with the launch of Zenergo, a social network allowing members to connect with like-minded people based on activities, including sports, hobbies and social interests.  Encouraging members to “Activate Your Life,” the new network is a unique entry into the burgeoning niche social media category, providing an integrated platform that connects people both online and offline.

“After two years of planning and taking the pulse of how people use social media and, more importantly, how they want to use social media, Zenergo is ready for action,” said CEO and founder Patrick Ferrell. “Our goal is to help people move from the interactive online experience to the more active pursuits that fulfill their social lives.”

Some of the groups and individuals among Zenergo’s early adopters, include:

  • Athletes and enthusiasts such as runners, cyclists, swimmers, hikers and tri-athletes
  • Busy moms/parents for their own social needs and their kids’
  • Event organizers, intramural sports leagues and training groups
  • Active singles and people who have recently relocated to another state or town
  • Wine oenophiles, beer connoisseurs and social clubs
  • Hobbyists wishing to share their craft with others

For example, a local runners’ group can post a Saturday trail run, organizing current members and virally attracting new ones. Someone new to an area can use Zenergo to find a tennis partner. Wine aficionados can publicize, organize and expand events.

As part of this release, Zenergo also announced a budding relationship with the Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter of Team In Training, who is using Zenergo to recruit and organize team members. Having raised $1 billon to support blood cancer research and patient services, Team In Training is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s leading endurance sports charity training program for marathons, half marathons, triathlons, 100-mile (century) bicycle rides and hiking adventures.

Zenergo’s integrated social tools give users a simple, safe and free network for managing existing active networks, exploring real-world activities and friends, and creating and managing events and groups of any size from one website. It eliminates the need to manage other website services such as online photos, invitations, calendars, groups, contact managers and friend finders. Group and event organizer tools help users efficiently manage teams, associations and organizations from one system.

Zenergo is the brainchild of Ferrell, who has over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, including the successful launch and development of four startup companies. Ferrell is an early pioneer in social networking as one of the co-founders of SocialNet. He also founded GamePro magazine in 1988 and created E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which was the world’s largest trade show launch.

 About Zenergo:

Zenergo is a social network based in Mountain View, CA with the mission to “Activate Your Life” through a more meaningful and fun social networking experience for members who want a deeper level of engagement and interaction with others who share their activities and interests. To learn more, visit http://www.zenergo.com/.

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The Mom 2.0 Summit – 5 Reasons Why I’m Jazzed

Wow.  I'm really thrilled to have been invited to speak at the Mom 2.0 Summit this year, coming up later this week,  April 14-16.  This is one of the most innovative social media conferences around, where moms, bloggers, authors and even dads (!) can talk shop with social media influencers, industry leaders and leading brands to share best practices. I'm really looking forward to discussing ways to create smarter web-based marketing, and discovering new social media tools that help engage audiences  and build relationships (aside from Zenergo of course!).

Our session is entitled “Connected or Disconnected:  How Social Networking is Affecting Our Relationships.”  Not a light topic, but a subject as a mom and also a social media professional/entreprenuer, that I feel very strongly about.  I’m delighted to be sharing the stage with two amazing women mom bloggers deeply involved in social media, Kristen Howerton (www.rageagainsttheminivan.com) and Cecily Kellogg (www.uppercasewoman.com).  Check out their blogs.

What’s great about this trio is that we come from very different backgrounds and aspects of social media, so it ought to be a thoughtful and lively discussion! If you’re lucky enough to be attending, make sure to stop by our session on Friday afternoon at 1:15pm.

Even more exciting for me, I’ll be stepping outside of my home office for a few days and experiencing some cool things like:

  • Mingling with some really talented, clever, witty, engaging, fun, people who happen to be moms, dads, writers and bloggers immersed in social media.
  • Aside from our panel discussion, there are many, many other valuable and educational sessions that I’m looking forward to attending.
  • I’m running in the New Balance 5K run on Saturday morning to promote Zenergo and I’ll be sporting my new Zenergo running t-shirt and hat!
  • It’s in New Orleans.  78 degree weather. Awesome food and jazz. Enough said.
  • Oh yeah, the conference is at the Ritz. Moms don’t mess around :).

Cyndy Sandor, Co-founder, Zenergo

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SOCIAL NETWORKING FATIGUE (or: I Don’t Care What You Had for Breakfast!!)

Whenever I introduce Zenergo to someone, I ask them two questions. The first is “When you’re not working, what do you like to do?” Their answer is always around their interests, passions and activities that define their social being, like tennis, knitting, book reading, wine tasting, parenting and so on. Then, I ask them “Do you do these things with all the same people?”  And, I always get an emphatic “NO!”

This is the fabric of the social lives of the mass market consumer, how people enjoy their passions and friends through the social circles that surround them. This is also the fabric of Zenergo.

It seems that two phenomena are occurring in the world of the social web.

Every site on the web is a “social network” is the first trend. That’s been the required moniker of every damned site that carries even a chat function, as they all think that’s the golden ticket to users coming on board. At Zenergo we don’t think of ourselves as a social network, but more of a “lifestyle compass.”  A site designed to enhance your social life, to give it direction, and to lead you to *do something.*

Social networking fatigue is the second trend I see. Most people have a busy lifestyle, and the quality of their time spent on this planet is important.  Many of the existing social networks have become personal soapboxes for the vocal minority (actually, the VERY vocal 5%), and the rest of us are pounded in their wake.   While I love my friends, I really don’t care that they bought a virtual pig,  or that they have a broken fingernail, or that they had Fruity Pebbles (yumm! yumm!, their words not mine) for breakfast.  So, I simply hide the ones that use a social network as a dumping ground for blah-blah-blah. And I’m not alone in this feeling or seeing this trend.

When I’m online, I want relevant discussions around the social areas that are important to me.  I want to be excited about what my social buddies have to say, not dreading the hours spent wading through the dribble looking for the nuggets that validate my time spent online. And I want to get excited about my favorite activities and motivated to go do them.

We created Zenergo to enhance people’s time online, to give them the feature-sets to make their online time fun, rewarding, and worth the time invested.   We’re all about one’s existing passions, finding new social frontiers, and embracing the social circles that surround them.  The web should be reflections of the way people lead their lives, not an attempt to change social norms.

Finally, to my daughter and her outbursts about college, and to my nephew who constantly posts videos of singing animals, I have one statement…”I had an apple fritter for breakfast, yum, yum!”

Enjoy Zenergo and watch the fatigue melt away!

Patrick J. Ferrell, CEO

THE NEW WAVE of Social Networking is Here

In 2008, Professor Liz Lawley, director of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Lab for Social Computing, shared her perspective on the future of social networking at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit.  This is an event that brings together 400 of the country’s leading academics, government workers and Microsoft researchers to discuss new fields of computer-science research.  At this summit, Professor Lawley stated:

“The next generation of social networking will give people more tools for defining smaller online communities in a way that mimics the real world”.

“One thing that’s very broken in the social tools we have right now is context and boundaries and a sense of who I want to share what with.  Many social-networking sites essentially force users to become part of a huge community, or they force users to choose whether someone else is a friend or not, with no other subtleties defining that relationship, she noted. People want to create villages and they’re being forced into cities. That’s creating a huge tension in social interactions,” she said.

It was clear that the need for a better social networking platform surfaced then, but the tools just weren’t available yet.

Even now, the larger social networking sites, recognizing to some extent the need to move away from the “city vs. village” approach have tried to incorporate apps and complicated tool options to give users the ability to create different lists.  Interestingly enough, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, recently said that “the ideal solution for sharing different things with different people is to make a friend list. “But guess what? Nobody wants to make lists,” Zuckerberg admitted.  No kidding.

Fast forward to today and Zenergo.  Our team conceptualized and started building the “village vs. city” approach to social networking more than 2 years ago and we’re excited to announce the launch of our beta site.  The belief about Zenergo’s approach is that social networking isn’t really social unless you can bridge your online network with your offline real-life activities and interests that are meaningful to you.  We believe that people choose to interact with their different social circles in different ways and that trying to do that through one large online community conversation just doesn’t work.   Maybe the Zenergo team was channeling Professor Lawley at the time?

If you’re reading this, hopefully you’re using Zenergo as a new way to connect with your friends and family through your real world shared interests. If you’re just finding us, we hope that Zenergo will give you new meaning to social networking, with less chatter and more matter.

Let us know how you feel about Zenergo, the new wave of social networking, and your thoughts about the future of social networking.  We’re listening.

Cyndy Sandor

WELCOME to Zenergo!

Zenergo is the first social network for you.  Someone with a real life who wants less chatter and more matter.  It’s a unique and smarter solution that answers the growing need for a meaningful social networking experience allowing you to interact with your online social circles,  just like in your real-life offline world.

In real life, you probably prefer manage and keep separate your various social contacts by shared interests – hobbies, sports, alumni groups, support groups, community groups for instance– and not combined together, like on other networking sites.  With Zenergo’s innovative design, you can easily personalize your social circles, groups and events matching your real-life interests and behavior.  And even better, there’s a unique search function that lets you  find and connect with new friends and groups by interest, skill-level and location.

You’ll find that you can eliminate many website bookmark because Zenergo gives you a complete integrated social networking solution. It’s a simple, safe and free network for managing your social life, exploration of new real-world activities and friends, and creating and managing events and groups of any size.  All from one website.

We’re still in beta, and have a long list of new features in development that will continue to enhance your Zenergo experience.  For now, we hope that you’ll find Zenergo fun, useful and more importantly, a better social networking experience.  Please feel free to send us your feedback at feedback@zenergo.com.

All the best,

The Zenergo Team

http://www.zenergo.com

P.S.  The word Zenergo comes from the Greek word “energos” meaning active.  We added a “Z” at the beginning, dropped the “S” and really liked how it transformed the word to something new.  We feel that Zenergo (zen=mediative, go=active, and a little energy in the middle)  represents the spirit of the site and reflects the many different types of interests and activities offered on Zenergo (more than 300!).  Come check them out by going to the “browse all activities” on your home page.