May 18, 2010

A Foreboding Web Site Name

Justin Katz

I have to say that the name of Angus Davis's new social networking site seems predestined for irony:

Backed by $8.5 million in early-stage funding, is a social networking site that allows consumers to share and rate their everyday purchases. Got a great deal on a pair of jeans? You can post news of the purchase to the site the moment it happens by linking it to your credit card. You can also write a review of what you bought and answer questions from people in your network.

Linking a Facebook-style page to your credit card so that people can see what you're buying in real time? We're already well past the point at which too much information becomes too much information. Removing the need to pause and log in to Twitter to announce every purchase seems rife with risks.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Yeah, I'm trying to figure out exactly how to monetize this. It won't be that hard if you can actually get data. And I think Generation Y isn't that hard to get to talk about things. It seems the opinion of the Baby Boomers is "None of your business" where Gen X is more "Who Cares?" and Gen Y is more "I just scored a $2.36 double shot vanilla-watermelon boost at Jamba Juice!"

Unfortunately, swipely is going to need to do it better than another company already is. (I won't name the company out of respect for a RI startup)

But one new company that does look really cool is They're going to allow people to accept payments right from their smartphone. They're shipping the stripe reader and you get the software for free. They make money by taking a piece of each transaction, just like the other credit card merchants do, but less and they accept most credit cards. I signed up and am looking forward to using it. And in full disclosure, I have zero relationship with the company. I just heard of it this week and think its a great idea. I think it will really harm PayPal, which isn't a bad thing either.

Posted by: Patrick at May 18, 2010 2:08 PM
We're already well past the point at which too much information becomes too much information. Removing the need to pause and log in to Twitter to announce every purchase seems rife with risks.

Newsflash, Anchor Rising is against "the free flow of information"! Where's Andrew when you need him?

You know for a site that claims to be pro-small business, you guys might consider supporting one of the most creative small business owners in the state. I missed the Geeks meeting, but I heard it was awesome.

Posted by: Russ at May 18, 2010 4:58 PM


What you mention is already commonplce in India. Credit card charges are so high that only the most chi-chi shops accept them. Money is transferred over your wireless phone. Customers stand at the cash register and make payment over thier phones.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at May 18, 2010 5:39 PM

I don't understand -why- anyone would want to share that sort of data, but my Dad doesn't understand why anyone would want to have a presence on Facebook. The up-and-coming generation of teens these days seem to not value privacy, not surprising since they basically came-of-age post-9/11.

I think this product will actually be popular, considering how many young women, steeped in materialism, have turned to documenting their shopping 'hauls' on YouTube:

My niece watches these, and it scares me to think about what it's doing to her head.

Posted by: mangeek at May 18, 2010 9:36 PM

Russ said:
"Newsflash, Anchor Rising is against "the free flow of information"!"

Oh really? You're in favor of this kind of information getting out? Let's see, Russ, what is your social security number? What is your checking account number? I'll expect a correct answer or then can I assume that you're also against the free flow of information?

Do you need to think every business idea is a good one to be considered "pro-business"? What's wrong with a critical eye? Or do you agree and you're just needling?

Posted by: Patrick at May 18, 2010 9:56 PM

When somebody posts that the problem of too much information, defined to include information coming from 24/7 news coverage and blogs, is that it puts pressure on our democracy, as the President did two weekends ago, I will be sure to register an objection. But there's no mention of information "pressuring" or otherwise hindering democracy in the original post.

(Also, on a secondary level, I am very confident that Justin's view on this matter will remain constant over time, even as the partisan affiliation of the President changes. I'm not so sure that such constancy will come from all of the people who have commented on this subject in my original thread...)

Posted by: Andrew at May 19, 2010 8:48 AM

"Oh really? You're in favor of this kind of information getting out?"

Sure, but you pick ridiculous examples (my job involves data security so spare me the lecture on identity theft). I just bought a Samsung refrigerator with french doors; love it. My wife and I went with black and white retro tile in the bathroom and are considering a slate backsplash above our new granite countertop (silver sea green).

Would I share that info with my friends? Sure, although I'm guessing my wife is more in the target demographic. I suppose knowing what computer equipment my geek friends are purchasing would be useful next time I need to upgrade or knowing what new lures my fishing buddies are trying out would be useful.

As to monetizing the idea, you folks don't think advertisers would be interested in this kind of data?

Posted by: Russ at May 19, 2010 10:38 AM

Why are those ridiculous examples? That's data? You're opposed to the free flow of data??

How much did you pay for those items? You missed that part.

As for the monetizing, yeah, it's obvious that advertisers would want it, I think I said that, but advertisers won't be interested if there's no audience or data to mine. And I'm a little skeptical about the size of the data sample that the service will be able to acquire from people

Posted by: Patrick at May 19, 2010 8:53 PM

Patrick, I think you're mistaking my tongue-in-cheek poke at Andrew over his "anti-information" Obama hit piece with my actual opinions on data management. I could say much more, but I'm not sure it's germane other than to note that I don't agree with Justin's unexplained assertion that the service is "rife with risks." Perhaps he could clarify what those risks are in his mind. Keep in mind that companies like Acxiom already track all kinds of stuff about you and your purchasing habits.

To be honest, I don't remember exactly what I paid, and I'm not sure that Swipely even tracks that (like I said I unfortunately missed Geeks this month).

Posted by: Russ at May 21, 2010 11:23 AM