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Ushahidi SkyGrid Groups Screenshot
Celebrities and organizations rely increasingly on social networks to connect with their fans, but Kevin Pomplun, chief executive of a company called SkyGrid, said there’s a growing risk of fragmentation. That’s what Pomplun is trying to tackle with a new product, SkyGrid Groups.

Groups are built on top of SkyGrid’s real-time search and browsing technology. It lets users build a page that combines fans and content from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and any other website that they want.

From the group owner’s standpoint, this is a way to unite a social media presence and also target messages much more specifically. Without SkyGrid Groups, a musician, for example, might send one message to all their fans on a Facebook Page or all the followers of their account on Twitter. SkyGrid reaches across those social networks. It also lets users create groups that are more specific. So Lady Gaga’s social media team (which is one of the launch partners) could create a group for an upcoming Los Angeles concert and another one for a San Francisco concert.

That can also create more opportunities for connections between fans. Continuing with the Lady Gaga example, you could join a group of Gaga fans in your area, then search for people who have quoted the exact same song lyrics that you have, and you could decide to follow them on Twitter or become their friend on Facebook.

Pomplum demonstrated Groups for me earlier this week. It’s very easy to setup — you just come up with a name, an introductory message, and then start selecting members using SkyGrid’s search tools. So you could search for a snippet of lyrics and then click a button to add everyone in the results to your group. (They, of course, have they option to leave if they want.) When other people hear about the group, they can request to join as well.

Other launch partners include the band Pearl Jam, Ushahidi (a social service in Africa), Land Rover North America, and Jaguar North America. SkyGrid makes money from advertising, so it’s offering SkyGrid Groups for free.

The Sunnyvale, Calif. company’s investors include RRE Ventures, BlackRock, Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

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