Meet a random human being every month by email

Happenstance is an email service allowing you to meet one random person per month.
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We created happenstance because we wanted to meet new interesting people, with no other purpose than sharing thoughts, ideas, and life experience. We had that burning desire to expand our world, and to discover the lives and adventures of other people we don’t know yet. We couldn't help but wonder about all those amazing souls we might share something with if only we got to meet them. Although the internet is pretty great for finding jobs, dates, and old friends, there is no service that would allow us to meet some random people, who are obviously cool, and curious just like you and I. With Happenstance, we want to allow everyone to meet someone new, and different, but yet kind of similar. Maybe a teacher from Japan, or a student in Europe, or a traveler in Asia, or a journalist from Africa, or a gardener, or a dentist, or an archeologist, or a professional gamer, or...well you get it. Simplicity is key here. Meet one person/month just out of curiosity. Not job-related, no booty call, no meet-your-next-cofounder, just curiosity. The possibilities are endless, and we cannot wait to meet all of you. Welcome Product Hunters :)
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Interesting idea. Similar to Serendipity but I'm not sure that is even still going... @manasvinik maybe you can tell us :) - and if it is not still running then maybe you can share some of the challenges here! @yoann_lopez how are you going to ensure that the people others are meeting are actually worthwhile? Not time-wasters, half-arsed ppl etc. This is by far the biggest challenge to face here so have to nail it :) - curious to see what you are putting in place to do so.
@bentossell @manasvinik Thanks for your comment. Indeed similar to Serendipity that I've started to use after working on Happenstance but I've only met people who were more "job/pro-oriented" and very similar to myself. You're right, we're facing some big challenges, one of them being how to get the right people onboard and not, as you said, time-wasters, half-arsed, etc. I strongly believe that analysing people's self-description is key here.
@yoann_lopez yeah but honestly I could describe myself any which way and come across as a normal decent person... and in reality I could be out to cause trouble. I think you will need more sophisticated systems than just checking a users bio.
@bentossell we are currently thinking about ways to avoid such problems. First thing would be that any user could be reported for inappropriate behavior, and could be banned from the service. Pretty straightforward and basic I agree, but a first step. To avoid frustration, we'll rematch the other user with another user right away. After analysing the first batches, we'll probably learn a lot a be able to come up with a more sophisticated way to solve this issue.
@yoann_lopez could even have people auth through Twitter/Facebook
@bentossell Right, could be a way to deter the people we don't want
I love the thinking behind this concept but here's my thesis: people want to think they are open to meeting anybody but really they want to meet pretty specific types of people. If you can build your brand around the former but technically nail the latter through some form of personality/demographic profiling and learning over time you may have something pretty cool. Looking forward to signing up.
@davieball Thanks! Pretty good analysis! You're right about people looking for similar/specific people but what makes it even more interesting is when they're slightly different (maybe a different culture, or a different background). I think we'll have to go through a pretty steep learning curve here.
Interesting Just signed up. I'm looking forward to getting started. I feel this has the potential to span out globally. Excited to see how this pans out!
@colemanoates Thanks a lot! We hope it'll grow bigger and bigger. Don't hesitate to share with your friends :)
Signed up. Excited to try it, and In other thoughts… Depending on the quality and connection made per match, I'd be happy to meet one new friend across the globe in a year, rather than 12—even if half work out, thats going to lead to a lot of work to maintain these new connections, especially when it's solely on you to keep the conversation going. Meaning, without a scheduled interaction such as work, school, gym, etc. the connection can easily fizzle away. Which leads me to my second thought. Email is cluttered as it is, have you considered building a communication platform into your product to maintain the conversations? Seeing as how I may never meet this connection in the physical world, having a centralized location for our interactions may help perpetuate the connection. Especially if your communication platform integrates systematic reminders to say "hello", propose a specific question each month to keep the discussion going, or simply to say "what's your new friend been up to this month?" Just some initial thoughts. again, very excited about this. lex
@lexevan Thanks for your feedback and your remarks. It's definitely something we are considering. We just need some more data to find the right orientation. All your remarks are totally right. It's even hard to maintain contact with my old friends that maintaining it with people I'm just starting to know might be even harder!