January 15, 2010

Forget Oversharing, Blippy Just Proves I'm Boring

When first introduced to Twitter, I couldn't get over the banality and minutiae people were willing to share. Their food. Their location. Their thoughts. Just mind-numbing half-sentences, LOLspeak and link after link of news I had probably read somewhere else. But over time, the service seems to have evolved, and its success has led to derivatives which provide us new ways to share slices of our lives, even if the revelation proves not to be some dark secret, but instead, the dark truth that we aren't really all that exciting to be following in the first place. Blippy, the service that lets you stream your purchases online, which opened up this week, takes this feeling to a new level.

After first having a mental block on the entire concept of Blippy, I realized it could be interesting to share my iTunes purchases and my Netflix rentals with friends, and see what they were buying online. After all, if we are so willing to share those things that we like (See MyLikes for that) or things we are a fan of (try Facebook), it makes more sense to take a step upward and show what we actually spent money on.

So I joined. You can find me here: http://blippy.com/louisgray

See How Boring My Life Is? Blippy Knows.

With a goal of erring on the side of transparency, I added iTunes and Netflix and Amazon, and even added the family credit card that both my wife and I use. This way, when I have a mundane task like filling up the car with gas, or she gets diapers at Safeway or buys the kids something new from Toys R Us, you will get the opportunity to know about it. You can follow each update, and I can follow you, or others who have joined, seeing my every purchase, and discussing them. Did I buy the right thing? Do you have this product too?

The interface is a lot like Friendfeed than Twitter, to be honest. You can make in-line comments to every purchase, or "Like" items, just as you can in FriendFeed and Facebook. Obviously, this appeals to me, and using the product is self-explanatory.

You Guys Are a Thrill A Minute Too...

But for every so-called "fun" update, where you see I bought an iPhone app that may appeal to you, or a restaurant I visited, or a Netflix movie I rented, you're going to need to sift through my routine updates, like paying Homeowner's Dues on our condo, stopping for fuel at Valero, getting food at Safeway, and on and on. The truth is, it soon becomes as exciting as reading a bank statement. There may be the occasional eyebrow raised as you see someone's update with a big dollar amount, or an amusing venue, but more often than not, at this point, I am simply exposing to you what I've long known to be true. The daily minutiae of my life is not interesting. That's why there aren't blogs dedicated to my comings and goings, and why I am often writing about other people and what they do instead.

Following on to yesterday's post about being "open", am I worried about revealing something I shouldn't? Something that might embarrass me? Not really. It may show that my wife and I go to the dentist or doctor and may have to spend money. And I can always delete individual items at any time if I want them out of my stream, if I remember to. Blippy essentially is a lot like Mint.com, which I also like, but instead of keeping all my data internal to me, it opens it to the world for discussion. The service is actually pretty cool, and can be amusing, if the people you follow are interesting. I just don't anticipate a lot of excitement on my feed.

See also an interview in the Wall Street Journal from today of Philip Kaplan (@pud): Philip Kaplan On Blippy: People Are Loosening Up Online. He's thinking along the same lines I am, adding, "The biggest risk is that their purchases are totally mundane and you’re really super boring." Sorry, Pud.