Wondering what the 10 biggest (mobile) apps made in Vancouver are. Feel free to leave comments/suggestions in the comments.
- Plenty of Fish
- ATA stuff- KaW
- Fitbrains/Rosetta Stone
- Hothead stuff
- Quick Mobile
- Loud Crow (the kids book guys)
- Paint my cat
— Rachel- about being on hold with Telus just after the one hour mark
Secret is the next big thing in Silicon Valley. The app lets you anonymously share and consume secrets from your friends and friends of friends.
Right now it’s apparently jumping the shark to main stream adoption.
Yesterday I declared that I don’t think it will make it- in the really really big way some people are predicting.
For the record I want to state that I believe none of the hype around Secret. This too shall pass.— Mack Flavelle (@MackFlavelle)February 12, 2014
Here’s my attempt at explaining why.
Quality/Quantity of Content
There’s only a certain number of secrets most of us can tell. There’s an average number of good juicy secrets we all have. This is the great content that makes Secret so interesting to read and probably so therapeutic to write. But after you’ve posted all those what’s left? The stupid content- the small secrets of day to day life that add no value to other users.
Facebook and Snapchat are potentially evergreen content platforms- always new moments, observations, emotions to share for existing users. But high intrigue secrets are limited in their supply, and low intrigue secrets add zero value, in fact they detract- noise not signal.
New users become not only critical for growth but also retention- they are submitting the new dirty secrets. There’s basically a negative correlation between how long a user has been with the service and their value to the service. This is nonconductive to building a sustainable community.
Feels more like TFLN than Snapchat. I love TFLN, still read it daily- but I am part of a diminishing herd. The engagement levels on that site have been steadily dropping for a long time now. Apparently there’s only so many times the average person can read about drunken blunders, awkward threesomes and college drug supply before it becomes a dull blur. Most secrets will eventually fall into these categories and become a similar blur.
It’s going to be reverse engineered by somebody. Somebody will crack this open. And even if they don’t- the fact that they someday maybe could is a non starter for me. Amazed people are willing to post “legitimate” secrets when they’ve had to verify with email and phone. Way too much unearned trust going on here.
More than the large scale exposure is simply the idea that one person may be able to figure out who said what. Perceived anonymity is dangerous.
One of the reoccurring questions in the discussion of new apps in this space is about the accountability of anonymity- the validity of the secret. What are the chances the good content is real? Some argue it doesn’t matter, that it’s entertainment either way- but to have staying power this is relevant.
The excitement is in the social proximity. The thrill comes from knowing that I might actually know who wrote this dirty thing. The majority of the emotional engagement comes from hoping to find out your cute little house wife neighbour is organizing gang bangs on the weekend. And if you don’t KNOW it’s her, at least you can choose to believe it.
The largest concern I have is around respect. Formspring struggled under the oppressive weight of the lowest common denominator of anonymity as expressed in vicious cyber bullying. How Secret avoids this I don’t know.
I don’t think anonymity is a fad- in fact I think it’s a fundamental human need that will be preserved and nurtured in our online communities, I just don’t think this is the experience that executes on that need. I think we’ll continue to see this already crowded space evolve and grow and a subtler way to include anonymity in our existing online identities will cary the torch of the ephemeral.
As a side note-
Could secret work as a compliment/alternative to Twitter in large scale political resistance? Seems likely. Decentralized communication works well for non authoritative actors and that opportunity is exciting. But that doesn’t cause it to be a global phenomena. Twitter only started to work in revolutions when it became ubiquitous. There’s no business model in being the voice of the resistance- it’s a nice byproduct of (semi)anonymity at scale.
— in the poo group
Superfreakonomics talks about seeing geographic reduction in domestic abuse in India that paralleled the release map/schedule of cable TV.
Further Reading: The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women’s Status in India” -Robert Jensen and EMily Oster
I haven’t eaten anything for three days.
Obviously when I tell people this the immediate response is “why.”
I don’t have a great answer, though I’ve lots of mediocre ones.
The fast ends in one hour and 39 minutes.
In fact it’s ending two hours before the official 72 hour mark- but that has to do with when I need to eat dinner with guests.
I’ve put a lot of thought into what I will eat first.
I’ve settled on warm white bread with butter and honey. And an orange.
Imagine my anticipation.