You can imagine that as a pop culture reporter and lifestyle guide impresario, I get a lot of press releases and emails from people that want me to talk about their latest show, series, movie, or website. For the most part, they end up in my recycle bin because a lot of it are things that you, my readers, would not be interested in. But every once in awhile, I run across and email that piques my interest and gives me cause to do a little more research.
I reached out to Koowie founder Peter Shen and asked him a few questions about Koowie. He was prompt with his answers and gave honest responses. Take a look:
What made you want to create an alternative to Facebook and Craigslist?
I’ve always wanted a website where I can talk to anyone based on a shared interest. For example if I’m bored, where can I search for people who are bored like me? If I like to talk sports, where can I talk to another person for sports? If I like to sell my car, where can I go to sell my car? There are millions of websites that can help you do all that but there is not ONE website that does it all. I wanted to create a “one-stop shop” social website. The closest thing to this is Craigslist. The problem with Craigslist are many and well known:
i. Many creeps go there.
ii. It has been taken over by spammers.
iii. Your email is not safe. (Koowie never uses your email to connect with others)
iv. The User Interface is archaic and not very friendly
(in addition) Many people like FB but many people do not either. But almost everyone is in FB. Why? Because everyone we know is on FB, FB has a tentacle hold on us. If we remove ourselves from FB, we are afraid we will lose our connections with our friends and family. However because we are on FB we are actually losing the “real” connections among our family and friends and each other through less email, less phone calls, and less get togethers. Instead we peruse on FB on random blurbs from our so called friends and family. It is a conundrum, isn’t it? So how Koowie can be an alternative (and I’m not saying everyone who is on FB will love Koowie) is that you can connect with your family and friends just like in FB but because Koowie is based on your thoughts, it is a more purposeful website to use. When you enter your koo (your thoughts), you are looking for a real connection not just telling someone you just brushed your teeth. For that stay on FB or Twitter.
Why are you anti-Facebook?
I am anti-Facebook not so much about FB’s privacy issues, or FB using users data to make a profit, but mainly because I feel FB is hurting people’s relationships. Sure it sounds great when we can connect with our classmates from college and even grade school. But how many of us actually have true connections with our former classmates? Very few. However we do value relationships with our close friends and family but unfortunately by using FB we are using it as a medium to connect with each other which can never be replaced by a phone call or face to face. That’s what I don’t like about FB, it’s becoming meaningless for our lives.
What types of users use Koowie?
a. Koowie users are everyone 13 and over. Unlike FB, there is no popularity contest to determine how many friends you have. Everyone can join and everyone is equal. If you think someone is interesting or he or she is your friend, you can follow someone. But there is no tallying on how many people you follow.
b. Users who like Craigslist concept but not its failings as listed above
c. People who want a meaningful place to connect with others besides FB or Twitter or other social sites
Facebook is the dominant social network but that doesn’t mean they are without faults. It’s always good to visit other social networks and become acquainted with them—you just may like what you see!
So to my anti-Facebook friends, go to Koowie.com. And tell ’em I sent’cha!