12 November 2013

My New Killer App: The Maybe Private, Maybe Broadcast, Twitter or Text? App

The problem with texting 2.0 is that it is direct. It goes directly to the person to whom you're sending it. Texting 1.0 - known at the time as passing notes in class - had the added frisson of knowing that the note you were trying to pass to your friend or love interest across the room might be intercepted and read rather than just passed along.

So, it's time to add a little uncertainty to texting. I'm at work in the basement on Classnotes, a new texting software that requires you to find at least one intermediary between you and your intended target. They might pass the note along or might read it. You might know when they opened it or you might not. Your intermediary may be the only to know the contents of your text or may broadcast it to the world. Suddenly communication meant to be private could become public and notes that you thought might be broadcast will be safely passed along without censorship or eavesdropping.

Classnotes randomly combines the best features of twitter and texting, turning casual communication into something akin to gossip, or a scandal sheet. It's an opportunity for people who might otherwise be ignored to be talked about, to be the subject of speculation and the focus of attention.

The business model for this is fail proof. Unnamed sources at NSA have assured me that if people don't download it by choice, they will subsidize its surreptitious installation on smart phones.

Classnotes. Because as Benjamin Franklin said, "If you want to get someone to pay attention, tell them it's a secret."

Stay tuned. And meanwhile, be careful about what you text. We might all be reading that.

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