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Social Life Network using blockchain, AI and data to power social networks, e-commerce

Tony Zerucha

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Ken Tapp has the perfect skill set to leverage the combined benefits of artificial intelligence, blockchain and data technology.

Mr. Tapp is the CEO of Social Life Network, an artificial intelligence and blockchain powered social network and e-commerce technology company. Social Life Network helps forge ties between like minded consumers by employing artificial intelligence and blockchain and leveraging users’ online behavioral data.

A data base engineer by training, Mr. Tapp built the data architecture that is still in play on what eventually became Realtor.com in the dot.com era. Following their IPO he left to form a data base company which over the next eight years connected 550 MLS systems in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and powered listing data for both Trulia and Zillow.

After 18 months away Mr. Tapp began considering ways to leverage artificial intelligence and early blockchain concepts to move big data and in doing so help hardware developers, with the ultimate aim of helping people better connect to social networks.

Ken Tapp

In designing the technology he was determined to make sure all code was bug free. Failure to do so would soon cause problems that would have to be addressed, he knew from his experience in the industry where developers would pass the buck and blame creators of another section of code for errors.

“You go to a library and debug code so no matter how you pair code, there’s no bugs on day one,” Mr. Tapp said.

It took a year to build out that code but the time was worth it, Mr. Tapp said. A subsequent network took two people only three weeks to develop compared to the 57 people who worked on the original set.

Talk to enough blockchain entrepreneurs about their early impressions of the technology and their responses tend to fall into one of two camps. One group dives deep into its the design, and in doing so sees interesting use cases as a result. The other ones, through their past experience, immediately see the possibilities.

Given his background Mr. Tapp falls into that latter camp. He said he saw a better way to take massive chunks of data, shard it into smaller sections and use a combination of blockchain and artificial intelligence to move data faster through networks.

That ability to help people in networks make meaningful connections is a key part of Social Life Network’s value proposition. They use artificial intelligence and blockchain to develop business social networks combining e-commerce, video conferencing and custom applications to serve niche industries such as cannabis and hemp, residential real estate and sport verticals including hunting and fishing, golf and tennis. Whereas Facebook and LinkedIn algorithms connect people based on whom they both know, Social Life Network’s algorithm pairs people based on how they act online. This format eliminates the noise and immediately provides high quality connection opportunities that can drive business.

In developing new social networks Social Life Network looks for those displaying four key traits. The first is a strong existing subculture. Did these groups exist prior to the Internet? Sport participants and the cannabis industry certainly have.

So has the real estate industry, where specific subsections each have their own operating systems, some of which may be 10 or 15 years old. Connect them via an enterprise system so the different groups can more easily interact.

The second factor Social Life Network looks for is a struggle with leveraging social media. Some industries like cannabis aren’t allowed to advertise on social media sites. Others get lost in the noise, Mr. Tapp said. In 2016 real estate professionals in the United States posted 81 billion messages on Facebook. Their average interactivity rate was 0.3 per cent.

“If we post our child’s birthday on Facebook and our friends like it, et cetera, the average interactivity rate is around 16 per cent,” Mr. Tapp said. That is roughly 50 times the success rate of real estate posts.

Yet this shouldn’t necessarily be framed as a struggle to be seen above the noise on Facebook or LinkedIn, as many groups Social Life Network works with have a strong presence on such networks, Mr. Tapp said. Hunting and fishing Facebook groups, for example, attract 120 million Americans.

Strong association partnerships are also important, Mr. Tapp said. A major industry association provides a key voice as they advocate for specific positions and offer endorsements. The fourth factor is a sector’s growth and disruptive potential.

Underpinning all of this is  assuring network partners their data is indeed safe, Mr. Tapp concluded.

“If you don’t have data secured and the entry point secured…That is where Facebook failed. I was waiting for it.

“We secured our system on day one. We didn’t launch into beta until our security was iron clad.”

Learn more about Social Life Network below:

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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