Today’s Killer Startup: Outpour
Outpour lets you “anonymously and publicly write about and celebrate friends.”
Why It’s A Killer Startup
In these days of trolls and online bullying, “anonymous” usually corresponds with “asshole.” Whether it’s in blog comments, on the super popular apps Secret and Whisper, or even in anonymous Twitter accounts, people seem to lose all civility when they don’t have to reveal the face behind the words.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person,” Oscar Wilde famously said. “Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
When so much of that truth-telling is negative, Outpour provides a great, positive counterbalance. Instead of revealing damning things about themselves (like on Secret) or talking smack about coworkers and friends (like on Whisper), users on Outpour have the chance to send praise to anyone – friends, family, even strangers.
The app also lets users browse the praise that has been left for others and anonymously receive, reply to, and discuss messages.
According to an interview with founder Calvin Liu on Wired, Outpour relies on three mechanisms to keep a positive vibe in the app: the social norms of the app, the ability to delete messages and block people, and oversight by the Outpour team. The social norm element is built into the design of the app: users have to go to someone’s profile in order to leave a message and Calvin and his team are hoping that the norm of positivity will prevent people from being jerks. The other two – blocking and oversight – are pretty self-explanatory.
The internet can be a pretty ugly place; divisive and nasty and full of name-calling. Outpour is a welcome refuge from the negativity, providing a little bit of positivity to brighten up people’s days. I, for one, hope that we see more apps and services like this moving forward.
The internet is full of nastiness. Take a break and tell someone you think they’re great with @OutpourApp http://www.outpour.io/