Volley Platform Aims to Draw More From Social Media Networks


A new social network dedicated to helping users create real-world connections has launched. Co-founded by Mike Murchison and David Hariri, Volley is a new web and iOS platform that makes use of a person's social network to coordinate introductions with other users who are interested in solving similar problems.

According to Murchison, there is too much fragmentation within social media today. He said that despite having 1,000 Facebook friends, 500 followers on Twitter, hundreds in email contacts, and even more on Snapchat, there is no way to organize them all. Volley introduces a way to streamline the contacts into one place, offering a way to introduce friends and friends-of-friends with the intended result of helping each other out in the real world.

There are currently about 900 invite-only members of Volley, who post requests to the site which answer the question, "What are you looking for?" Other members then either reply directly or "volley" the post to their contacts that exist outside of Volley, which currently only include Gmail contacts, who may be better able to help, writes Joseph Czikk for TechVibe.

Murchison said the idea came about after Atlus, his previous company that ran a mobile location recommendation platform. He said he was looking for a way to create introductions between intelligent friends who may be able to offer help to one another.

"Technology is not inherently valuable. So we started considering what types of value we like creating ourselves, without technology," said the 25-year-old.

This led to the creation of "Project Connect" nine months ago. The duo asked friends to participate by filling out a form that included their names, interests, and passions, among other things. All of the users had the same login but unique credentials. The website was just a simple splash page used to allow the pair to see how people would interact with one another.

"We found that people started connecting with each other, helping each other out and meeting up in person," said Murchison. "It really took us aback. The single disproportionate reason for the connections, more than anything, was their answers to the question ‘what are you looking for?'"

The Volley app currently offers students the ability to instantly see resources like key facts, prerequisites, and links to things like online classes and study guides just by taking a picture of a textbook page or piece of homework with their phone's camera.

After the photo is taken, the app analyzes the text and photos in order to determine what topics are being covered, allowing users to choose the correct one from a list of options. It then offers students pieces of Khan Academy courses and Wikipedia articles, as well as lesser-known PDFs that may have been uploaded by a teacher somewhere else in the country, writes Josh Constine for Tech Crunch.

In addition, the app's "Concept Graph" can determine what students would need to know prior to figuring something out. This allows Volley to fill in the information gaps that may exist if a student misses a day of school or does not understand a lecture because English is not their first language.

03 15, 2016
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