Our assignment this week was to recreate “I will talk with anyone” with some personal flavor. I had a lot of trouble coming up with something.
I knew I wanted to find a way to improve people’s mood in some way. At first I wanted to do an in-person intervention, but I couldn’t think of anything that I thought would come off as sincere. Eventually I decided to do something online because I thought there would be power in creating a community feeling, rather than a one-on-one feeling.
I decided to ask people to record the best thing that happened to them that day on a quick website I built on Meteor.
When I launched the site, I originally just posted it on my Facebook page. I was getting really great responses, but then I realized it was from all people that I knew. So, I decided to post it on Reddit and Craigslist to see if I could get people outside of my network to post.
Well, it’s always funny how quickly you can clearly see how bad your good idea was.
If anyone had told me my idea, I would’ve told them that they needed to put in place a sign up and/or blocking feature in order to take input from random people on the internet. But, I was working on a deadline, excited that I had started to figure out a new tool (Meteor), and encouraged by what was coming from my network.
Within minutes of posting on public sites, all the Internet’s 12-year-old boys came out to the site. I took the site down within 30 minutes or less of its launch. The experience was a stark reminder of both what I love and hate about the Internet.