Beyond the Pitch
Baloonr Launches the Internet’s Open Venue for Meritorious Content
Did you ever wish that you could express yourself and then find out what people thought about your idea, photo, or something you wrote—without having to reveal your name?
That’s the idea behind Baloonr, a new social media platform that launched earlier this month. Baloonr changes the approach to sharing and vetting content over the Internet.
Baloonr came about because co-founder Amanda Greenberg wanted a place to share creative content and ideas without the worry of them being linked to her name.
“I wanted to know if my creative content and ideas were any good, but I was a public health and policy consultant in DC with higher profile clients, and didn’t want to affect the brand I had built,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg and co-founder and CTO Noah Bornstein teamed up to create an entirely new approach.
Baloonr is different from the social media that we know.
“Baloonr is a place online where people can share everything and it won’t be prejudged based on who that person is, how popular they are, or how many connections they have,” said Greenberg.
“We’ve lost the ability over the Internet to be heard,” she said. “Before Baloonr, there was no way in the world to vet ideas and content free of those things. We open the Internet up for meritorious and creative content.”
- Baloonr members are each and every one automatically anonymous. (Members who want to reveal their names do have that choice.)
- Baloonr does not use pseudonyms, thus eliminating targets for bullying or commentary.
- Members can share their content and ideas with people from all over the world—not just with their friends or existing social networks. And, or course, it’s reciprocal—members view content from anyone and everywhere.
- Baloonr is a meritocracy. Every piece of content is treated equally.
“Relieving the pressure to build a following is a way to invite the full creativity of what people can do,” Greenberg says.
The best way to appreciate the power of Baloonr is to try it. It’s easy, intuitive, and perhaps just a little addictive.
Here’s how Baloonr works.
All it takes is an email and a password to start launching, pumping, or popping a baloon.
Baloonr provides daily launchers—idea starters—in four categories: creative, introspective, innovative, and limitless.
Here’s the prompted “creative” screen.
Here’s the screen that invites free form input.
When people launch a baloon (an image, photo, or short or long text – up to 2,000 characters) that content is randomly cycled for 24 hours to other Baloonr members who can pump or pop each baloon. There is no commenting, so no opportunities for trolling, bullying, hurtful or hateful words.
Every piece of content is cycled up to the same number of units, based on time of review. Creating meritocracy is a goal of the site.
Under My Baloons tab, members can monitor their baloons.
If after 24 hours their baloon is going to take-off, members receive an email notification and then they can share or promote their content through other social channels. They can also choose to take credit for their baloon by verifying their identity using Facebook or LinkedIn and linking that baloon with their name.
“We want everyone to understand that they can be a Baloonr user,” Greenberg said. “Baloonr is not a niche product. People can try out their ideas. They can pump and pop others’ content. They can see what is coming in from all over the place.”
Business and personal applications.
Initially, Baloonr is focused on growing the user base, gaining user feedback, and establishing the brand. With the anonymity movement kicking off online, Greenberg sees lots of opportunity.
“We provide a way for the world to see the top ideas,” said Greenberg.
“Members who want to practice creativity but have a different profession in real life can launch their material here. It’s also a way to test public opinion—on fashion, trends, or product ideas,” she said. “Baloonr is a way to find out what people are thinking and where they are on public or social issues or to create higher order brand propositions.”
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