I’ve written on the blog once before on the topic of what or who is a stranger: “Who are you?” and for some reason it has popped up in my head again. Often the media has thought it witty to call PickupPal a kind of “cyber-hitchhiking” - and i liked the notion because it hearkens back to a “cooler” time where people helped each other out by giving them a lift. I have hitchhiked myself as a teenager and you know, those were really good times, young and free..and all that.
But recently I have realised that “cyber-hitchhiking” may not be the right expression to describe PickupPal. I am not even sure if i like it at all. Fact is that hitchhiking isn’t necessarily fun, tends to be choice of last resort, and it is about strangers picking up strangers. Using PickupPal on the other hand is a fun choice, and it is not about hooking up strangers but rather about connecting people, real people in fact. As far as we are concerned PickupPals are not strangers at all but people you may know, who live and work close to you, who have facebook or linked in profiles. People who like the same music and as such are going to the same show, who support the same team and as such are going to the same game.
PickupPal is a community, a new one to be sure, but it is a community just as a neighbourhood may be one. And it is supported by real people like me, Eric and Jonathan, Brent and Adam, Ryan and Mark, Susan and John and many more. PickupPal has also recently added features to help support our community of real people, such as the ability to add links to your profiles in other communities, and the ability to search on the city where you live or the city where you are going to see who is out there offering or needing a lift. And soon, you will be able to instantly send a message to another member without adding a specific trip - all things to help us find each other and ride together - cause i don’t know about you but i don’t want to ride alone anymore, it is just not “cool”. Pickuppal-ing is as cool or cooler than our romanticised notion of hitchhiking in the good old days because we are doing it for all the right reasons.