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Web 3.0 and the Argentine Tango: Context

Posted on Thursday, Dec 15th 2011

As we design the portal, one of the first things we need to determine is what brings users to the site. In other words, what is the Context? This is an interesting question because tango aficionados come to the Web for multiple reasons. The first and most basic context is to look for places to dance tomorrow, this weekend, and so on. Most tango communities in the world maintain web sites where they publish the schedules of when and where various milongas are held. In addition, local usage contexts also include looking for teachers and practicas. [Example: TangoMango]

Another popular context for users is to look for information on where to go dancing when traveling. The common practice is to write to local organizers and find out more information. Dancers can pretty much show up at any milonga anywhere in the world and dance with local dancers. It’s a wonderful way to travel, meet people, and explore local cultures through the lens of a common passion while communicating through a common vocabulary.

For travelers, there is yet another interesting use case: finding a place to stay. In Buenos Aires, in particular, there are houses and apartments where dancers can stay and the hosts organize local experiences, all the way from local teachers, to local milongas, to local sites. It is always more fun to go out with other dancers than alone. It seems that the phenomenon is finding adoption elsewhere in the world as well. Here is an example from Krakow, Poland:

Of course, looking for dance partners is also a common need, and it happens to be an extremely complex exercise to find someone whose “dance needs” align with yours. The complexity often comes from the fact that dance partner does not necessarily equal dating partner. In addition, there are many factors involved in gauging compatibility that are both esoteric and domain specific. These need to be handled by a vertical search engine that understands the vocabulary of the tango. Some examples include whether you are looking to dance close embrace or open, tango nuevo or milonguero style. Height matters, too. It is very difficult for a 6-foot 3-inch man to dance the tango well with a 5-foot 3-inch woman. Are you looking to invest in private lessons? How much? Dance lessons can be expensive, and a partnership would only work if both dancers have the means. Do you have time to dance three to five  nights a week, or are you busy doing a startup?

This segment is a part in the series : Web 3.0 and the Argentine Tango

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Thanks for this post.

As a practitioner of lindy hop and one of the admins of the largest online community for swing dancing,, I am very interested in your ideas for how social media can support social dancing. Those are definitely applications that we have thought of ourselves, which is why we support an international calendar of events , discussion forums where they can discuss relevant issues, and streaming radio so they can hear the best music from past eras and the current trends in swing jazz.

I have yet to see a succesful implementation of a "partner match" application. I would be curious to see any examples you have found.

rik panganiban Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 3:39 PM PT

Please follow along this series, and also listen to the roundtable recording for Dec 15 (10th roundtable) …

Sramana Mitra Monday, November 29, 1999 at 4:00 PM PT