Northeastern alums using new app to better connect people to neighborhoods

BOSTON — Social media connects us to the world, but two entrepreneurs from Northeastern University want to make sure it also keeps us in touch with our neighbors.

Jamie Gullbrand and Mansoor Pervais have developed an app called BuzzLoop.

The goal is to make it easier for people to share information within their communities.

Gullbrand said when a person logs onto BuzzLoop, they see this location based discussion feed which is essentially a local bulletin board.

All the contributions are from people close by the user.

There can be questions about parking, observations about local sports teams, and advice on the best places to eat.

The user defines their region, creating a radius around them between one to three miles.

A person sees all the posts, but Pervais explained how privacy is protected.

“For the purposes of this application, we have your email address which is not public," he said. "The only thing that is public is your username which you can set as whatever you want, which makes you completely anonymous.”

Gullbrand and Pervais said they know they’re challenging some pretty big names, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

They still believe their site can provide better local information.

“There’s a lot of untapped knowledge and perspectives that aren’t being utilized,” Gullbrand said.

Another feature is the ability to change to your radius to a place you plan to visit, like a Celtics game.

“You can just post a question on BuzzLoop by changing your location to the Boston Garden and posting a question, ‘Where’s the best to park,'" Pervais said.  “OK, you’ve done that. You’ve parked. You’ve watched the game. Now you want to know where is the best hot dog if you wanted to have one, or any other kind of food.”

It’s an idea that could change how social media is used, just like Facebook did when it was hatched on another local campus.

“I think that a lot of people are realizing there’s a lot of value and there’s a void in this area of connecting hyper local communities,” added Gullbrand.

BuzzLoop is free download and you can download it by clicking here.