Problem we are trying to solve: People have always had opinions about each other and are often able to express these opinions about others as a collection of attributes and character traits in private and confidential setting. However, there is no forum today on the Internet that systematically gathers and publishes these candid opinions about people at scale.
There are websites that allow us to express our opinions about people using free form text (e.g., LinkedIn recommendations, comments section at the end of articles, blogs, etc.) but these suffer from 2 major shortcomings:
1. They reveal the identity of the commenter expressing the opinion which causes the commenter to be less candid and refrain from expressing negative feedback.
2. When the commenter's identity is hidden, the comments frequently deteriorate into name calling and ranting or takes the more dangerous route of unfounded claims about the person that may break the laws of libel, slander and hate speech (with laws varying by country).
Solution: thesay is an anonymous social media app that uses thoughtfully pre-selected words and phrases (always positive words) that a user can choose to communicate a subjective opinion about a person. Examples of positive words and phrases are “optimistic”, “hardworking”, “creative”, “has leadership skills”, etc.
theysay presents a user with a person from a social network (Facebook for starters) and a sequence of positive words or phrases.
For each combination of person and word/phrase (also called an attribute later in the document), the user can perform one of three actions:
a. agree that this word/phrase applies to this person
b. disagree that this word/phrase applies to this person
c. pass (because the user doesn’t know enough or does not have an opinion)
For example, you the user are logged into the app using your Facebook credentials and are viewing user John Smith for whom the following word/phrases are presented: ethical, empathetic and courageous. You agree with ethical, disagree with empathetic and pass on courageous (possibly because you haven’t witnessed an occasion that called for John to demonstrate courage).
theysay lets you perform 3 primary actions:
1. It lets you agree/disagree/pass on words/phrases for a person who has a presence on facebook (does not necessarily need to be your friend)
2. It lets you view the profile of yourself or another person on facebook.
3. It has viral features that let you take 2 actions:
a. notify friends who have profiles on theysay to come and view their profiles
b. Invite your Facebook friends to rate you on theysay
Screens: theysay will be initially built as a mobile app for the iOS platform initially and have the following screens:
1. a screen to login with your Facebook credentials
2. a screen to view your own profile or another person’s profile. A person’s profile contains a list of top 5 attributes that people say she possesses and the top 5 attributes people say she does not possess. A graphical and attractive method of displaying a profile is important. It will also be nice to see how a user profile has changed over periods (perhaps the last week and the last month).
3. a screen where the user is presented with the name (and if available, the Facebook photo) of another person on his network and a sequence of words to describe the person. For each word, the user chooses a yes, no or pass. In this screen, the user should have the option of moving on to rate another person without necessarily responding to all attributes presented.
4. Either in separate screens (or insightfully blended into screens 2 and 3 above), the viral notification features described in the previous section (3a and 3b) should be incorporated.