Aaaah, the old days when internet was just a bunch of forums and message boards. Virtual world was such a small space and who would have thought that one day, with a little luck, you could communicate with your favourite author or actor directly? With networks like Facebook, you can represent yourself online as you are offline. However, there are times when you bite your lip and want to express something anonymously. To help you with that, here is Interests.Me.
We recently wrote about Rooms.Me and just like Interests.me, those are the places where you can be you, but anonymously. However, Interests.me takes things in a different direction a bit. For starters, it is versatile, because it is not just an i OS app, but also an Android app and you can access it from your browser. It is a place where you can discuss a number of different topics. You can do it anonymously under one pseudonym, or you can create new ones for each discussion.
This sort of social app is coming in a crucial time. Today’s discussion forums have become a bit intimidating, because it seems that you need to have a vast knowledge and very formal and specialised vocabulary. Beginners can find this intimidating. On the other hand, other less specialized anonymous networks have problem with anonymity abuse. Nicknames allowed a lot of people to just “walk in from the street” in a public discussion, spread misinformations, rumours, or just troll others because of the sake of it.
Qualifications Are Required
Anonymity got a bad reputation, but it is essential for online freedom. Yes, it is horrible if pseudonyms are used to abuse, however, imagine if you are in a oppressed regime/state/home. The only way you can get a bit of space to be yourself is online. Suddenly anonymity doesn’t sound so bad? Just remember numerous female authors in history that have used male pseudonyms. By itself this is not a bad thing, but just like with water, too much or too little is not good. Balance is the key.
That is exactly what folks at Interest.Me are trying to do with pioneering qualified pseudonymity. You can’t access Interests.Me instantly, you will either have to be qualified, or invited. They are interested in discussion, not a pass-by commenting. Pseudonymity allows continuity of your identity and it gives you a possibility to be known and know others through participating and things you say over time.
Community Comes First
However, they do not aim to build up a knowledge base, although they want for communities to provide useful information and be helpful when there is need for that. If you want knowledge, you can browse Wikipedia. The main element is community and allowing yourself to be you. Although it may seem odd, different usernames for different discussions that are not connected with one profile is a good thing. Just like in real life, you can be a strict professional at work, a caring parent at home and a dirty joke encyclopaedia while drinking with your friends. You are you, but sometimes you don’t want certain parts of life to mix. It can give you freedom and reduce stress.
Our focus on private discussion comes at the expense of easy virality and fast growth of our platform. But we’re much more concerned about the experience of each and every one of our users, even though we don’t know who they are.
Just like with the most things in life, balance is the key. Interests.me is approaching their goal slowly but carefully and they are doing a good job. Anonymity can be used for good and for bad and that is why qualified anonymity gives all participants the confidence that the group of people they’re talking to is the right group of people.