Need A Student Loan? Try social networking.
It’s the latest and greatest in college/student loans: social networking. Sites like Prosper.com and Lending Club are offering students a low-interest way to get student loans through P2P (peer to peer) communities.
Does this take social networking to a new level? No, not really. These sites, at their base, are exactly what social networking was created for, The social networking platform is finally being used as it was meant to be: to connect people in need. It’s not just a way to communicate, get viral, and spread content (though it’s still a useful and valid way to spread memes and information) through networks like
Plurk, Twitter, Stumble, Digg, etc.
The concept, I admit, is interesting. But it seems that social networking has chosen its path, and while I admire these two companies for attempting to break “new ground”, I feel that the model will end up in failure. Savvy money-lenders and students may be able to take advantage of the model, but my overall consensus
it that it won’t be around too much longer.
Here’s how it works (in a nutshell):
Dave Taylor asked some great questions of Prosper’s Chief Technology Officer John Witchel
It’s worth the read, and it only furthers my hypothesis: this business model is doomed. We’ll all have to get used to the fact that social networks are for getting “social” (read mass dissemination of information and finding out what everyone’s doing, no matter how inane or mundane).