1. The sexual abuse story is unrelated to your app and feels like you're trying to guilt the customer into using it. The best way to support victims would be to donate directly to the NGO not use your app, and therefore this story seems like a disingenuous marketing strategy.
2. The problem with audio only social network is there's no way to "skim" things. There's no guarantee that the audio story a user clicks on will be interesting, and by the time the user figures out its not, you've just wasted 60s of his life and he's angry and wants to delete your app.
Not a social network, but private audio, selective sharing, etc.
I don't think its better either, and I believe this is why we see audio as addition to written text (it is called 'podcast' because of Apple marketing w/iPod). In other words, the text is read and from there it is being decided if we follow up with more text, audio, or video. Video is an exception because the eyes are used there as well.
However it is important to recognise audio-only use cases. Audio only feedback may work in some situations e.g. during sports/fitness, or driving a car (radio). I haven't been able to come up with additional examples though.
"I'm building this because I want to fight sex trafficking"?? It just confuses potential users what the hell this app is for. I actually read the whole story, it's a good story, but in the end i was left puzzled (Is this app for reporting sex traffickers to the authorities in audio messages?) AND kind of annoyed that I spent the time reading the whole thing thinking that it would describe what the app is for.
Sorry for the unnecessary frustration!
Good call. Maybe back off a little more than that, even. So I'm reading your page and liking what I see. I would like to know more. Here's a thing that might have more information, so I click it. Now I'm reading a surprisingly affecting comic about a kid who's been sexually abused and the fight against sex slavery. My mental and emotional associations with your brand are suddenly a great deal more complex, and quite a bit darker, than they were. Your app suddenly has a steeper hill to climb toward making me happy enough to feel that using it is worth my while. If it fails to do so, and I don't use it, your efforts toward your honorable cause are impaired thereby. Is telling me about it really as important as maybe getting me to contribute to it in a material way?
Don't get me wrong. I like why you're doing what you're doing. But maybe "not what you want to lead with" understates the case on that one just a hair, is what I'm trying to get across here.
Does anyone else agree with the above sentiment?
You didn't even tell us what happened to your friend! It seemed like you were just using her story to aggrandize yourself. What happened to her? How would she feel if she read this comic? Is she getting a slice of this pie too?
It just seemed kind of exploitative and in comic form...
If he is really so passionate about fighting sex trafficking, he should be building something that solves that problem, not just another social networking app and using that story to get attention.
I finished reading the cartoon and was like "wtf did i just read?" It felt like one of those viagra ad spam schemes you find in various comment sections on the internet where the commenter starts out writing something that sounds very relevant to the story, and in the end somehow segues the narrative into "buy viagra and cialis here https://blahblah"
Thanks for the feedback, I'm definitely taking everything into consideration as far as where that comic should go
On the other hand, I'm too old and not well enough socially connected to be your likely target market, and it's been a hell of a long day. I could be making more of this than it merits; take it for whatever you find it to be worth.
Would you consider that a good spot for it?
But I agree with other commenters that bringing up this whole story on a page that is normally reserved to try and sell your product feels a bit exploitative, takes us through a dark emotional journey and we don't even learn about the end of your friend's story (so she feels like a prop)
Why not keep this in an "about us" page that explains more about the philanthropic model behind the company? For example, Salesforce.com follows the 1/1/1 model and Marc is super committed to giving being ingrained in the company culture. But you would never know by looking at their frontpage, you have to dig deeper into it to find out 
Also, I feel very exposed now that you know about the 7DollarYear :P
For me I think it's a case of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. The first page sounded like you were doing the app because it was a cool idea that will make people's lives better so you wanted to see it turn real. That's easy to get on board with.
Then the second page says "and I'm doing it all because I want to make a lot of money." Which you plan to use for a great purpose, but it still makes the app itself less appealing, because it emphasizes that you're not doing the app for its own sake.
The story is a good one, I just think you should link it less prominently and frame it as "x% of profits go to X and here's why," rather than "here's why I built the app."
If there's no legal framework enforcing the donations, I'd keep it very unobtrusive for now, so it doesn't seem like you're using an unenforceable promise as a selling point. Later you'll have a donation history you can talk about.
My worry is that if I put it into a blog post, eventually no one will see it due to the short term nature of blog post discovery.
I think a more subtle way to go about this would be to say:
> We donate x% of our profits to Exodus Road. To find out more about who they are, and what this means to us, click HERE
Luckily no friends of mine are using voice messages in 1-1 chats with me. I never listen to those messages in group chats.
I won't use a voice only or video only social network exactly for the same reason. Text and pictures are ok because they are quick to skim through.
Apply it in the context of social interaction, and you can immediately see that social networks are making people more antisocial. But don't worry, someone here will come and give you numerous studies citing why that isn't the case.
Anecdotally, though, you know this is true. You probably know of that old autistic person who was never diagnosed and somehow managed to live a higher quality life than the current diagnosed generation. You probably know of elders who actually had a much higher quality of life after they lost mobility because, you know, people actually stopped by to talk to them occasionally. You probably know of a cheery, older handicapped person who seemed to have had nothing going for them other than people who just genuinely cared about them - probably because the time others spent with them was not optimized for self-actualization.
This is popular in Buenos Aires as well.
These days, text based content is very low on "value" (thus why we scroll past many text heavy things on current social media) but video is very high on "barrier to entry" as most people have to record quite a few times, make sure they look good, etc.
My goal was to use audio to make it quick to get ideas/stories up there, but that people would see them as higher value (for example, I can hear the southern twang from some of my old college friends)
So I'd personally fight the word "novelty" but I might be a bit biased ;)
AFAICT, the fact that it's not visually skimmable seems to be the reason audio is far behind.
I don't know if this does it or the author has looked into the concept. Just jumped out at me when I read your comment as I almost never listen to radio but was skimming it past, two days just to see what caught my attention.
If you want to help prostitutes then listen to them, and support decriminalisation, not ‘rescue’.
What you do with any profits are not my business, but this is a real turn off. Just leave it out.
1. The Premiere Pro "Morph Cut" doesn't really work that well and can easily be spotted. See :38 for an example.
Morph Cut Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOvDwiE0qSo
2. The tracking/compositing of the app on the phone screen is very crude. :59
3. The audio needs a lot of work. I'm on a laptop with no headphones, and I hear the bad ADR work. "Your stories" at 1:28 stands out the most.
As I said before though, there are some rough edges. The written text in the app feels... unprofessional, which might not be a bad thing necessarily. I think you tried to find a light tone to connect with users, but you haven't yet succeeded in striking that light hearted balance between connecting with your users and talking with the confidence of a business. The colors look somewhat cold for what feels like a very warm app. And on the tech-side there could be some improvements, like detecting 'empty' waves: apparently people happen to accidently send out a wave without any meaningful sound whatsoever into the world, and I imagine detecting that is something that could be done automatically. By the way, sound quality is okay, but make sure you don't neglect it. This idea will only work if you forget that you're listening through a device, if it's anything like a phone call I think that might be to robotic.
Something I just thought of: how do you plan to tackle the language barrier? Is the Ocean going to consist of English-only spoken text, or are you going to tag waves with a language and filter based on what the user is using?
As for the language barrier. Yes, we're going to be english only to begin with, then I think we'll make versions for other languages.
I'm trying to think of the best way to simply message this right now. Let me know if you have any great ideas.
Also, the comics at the end of the page are great, the drawings, the narrative, everything.
Actual design work: no way in heck I could ever make something that looks that good ;)
edit- read the comic, I'm even more confused.
Does anyone else have thoughts on this?
I think the most appropriate place for this kind of story would be your first blog post because it's more about humanizing you and the developers more than it's about the product itself. However, since it's important to you I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping it on the home page so more people can see it.
Thanks for the great feedback guys! You all rock! As I've said before, tshirts all around! (to those who want them and use the app) ;)
the more relatable comic is buried under a tab. it derides the mess that is social media but then says "Does your best story have what it takes?" with a share link to Facebook.
it boxes you into a minute with the reason being that otherwise it would turn into a "snooze fest" while also saying the point of the app is to have a more personal connection to distant friends (was that comic of two friends leisurely chatting over a fence meant to imply these are rapid conversations? I got the opposite impression). based on that the phone dialer is what you should be reaching for to stop making excuses and stay intimate with the people you care about.
that said I don't mean to be negative just to point out that there is a flurry of mixed messages here in regard to use cases for the app. I get the impression they're not settled on the problem their solving. my feedback is only meant to point that out, not discourage.
I think this is the biggest takeaway. It's really difficult to nail messaging down as founders. You're just too damn close to the product and you have all these stories you want to tell, so the default is to tell all of them, usually getting "too cute" along the way. I'd push these guys to really focus on concise, clear explanation of what this product is (how it works, why you should try it). Everything else - like the motivations behind building it - should be secondary. Within 3-5 seconds of visiting the homepage I should know what this thing does.
Point being, sometimes more modern technology can be better than the old stuff. If he had instead had social circles interested in a more modern platform, then maybe I could have been a part of it. I'm all for people like the OP here trying to innovate in the audio space. I think the medium has a lot to offer.
Also, many clubs record their nets and post the archives online. (Mine does.)
"A Mobile Application for Interactive Voice Forums:Design and Pilot Deployment in Rural India"
Researchers built a landline/cellphone based social network. It could be especially useful for rural areas with low literacy rate.
1. Millennials prefer text to voice. My millennial friends don't answer phone calls, but promptly reply to texts
2. Voice is an older generation mainstay. But their affinity to social networks is low.
In my estimate, the target audience is rather small in ℅. However, since the planet has 2B smartphone users, there might be a play.
Now it's just a podcasting platform, but I'll definitely be trying this out because I miss the old days...
EDIT: The 'boos' are still online, you just need to know the URLs http://boos.audioboo.fm/attachments/1543/Recording.mp3
I appreciate the thought here!
For instance, have a social network specifically for user-generated/recorded farts?
Rank them in multiple dimensions (geolocation, time, genre)?
I was thinking more along the lines of re-branding the same app multiple times for different genres.
I like the tag concept.
Also, I can't believe I haven't seen this social network idea executed before. Seems at least like one worth exploring.
Please let me know if there is anything you think we should add to 2.0, and please download the app and try us out. Appreciate you!
However, I probably won’t be using this for one reason: waves are ephemeral, deleted from their servers after a week.
Edit: Just downloaded it and see that you can save waves. Nice.
Also is there an auto advance feature if you have a queue built up?
However, this is not for me as I find audio intrusive, where I would either annoy people around me to record/listen to something, or fetch earphones every time.
Even if it is not for me, I'm sure that there are a lot of people who would enjoy this and put it to good use. Good luck!
Not the way to handle this.
Could you send over some links so I could get further ideas and have a better understanding of the competitive landscape?
I am guessing you put a lot of effort into that comic and feel bad discarding it, but just do it. Sunk cost.
Figures change as do metrics. But I think at the time that figure might have come from IJM (International Justice Mission), but I can't be certain.
Is there a reason you need web-based?
As opposed to a device picked in no small part (excuse the pun) because it's small enough to fit in my small hands. It has a speaker the size of my fingernail and a microphone that's even smaller again.
I use my phone when I can't use my laptop or workstation. It's a compromise device, and while I love and heavily use my phone, it's not a replacement.
Everything on my PC is better than on my phone. The screen, the input devices, the audio input, the audio output.
Plus a decent web client is always going to be more portable and will let you catch people on whatever device they want to use. You can get it on Windows phones and tablets, Linux devices, PCs, Macs and consoles.
A web-based version may also enable me to hack in a convenient workflow. Heck, I'd be tempted to hook it up so I could use it while stuck in traffic. And maybe if I get addicted to the platform even add a Twilio number so I can use it if I'm stuck without mobile data somewhere. Not a proper substitute for an API, but good enough in the beginning.
One use case I can think of is sometimes I look at IG or FB with my friends on one screen, hell I even sometimes throw Tinder on the chromecast.
For them a voice-based social network sounds like a great idea.
Is there anything specific they do that you wish we did?
But in reality they're going after more of the podcast audience / angle. I'm trying to position currently as between friends with stories as the backbone.
I think Anchor is awesome and fully support them, but I think there are a lot of key decisions that have and will continue to be made that will push us further and further apart :)
Edit: hellban, post invisible. (content good). classify bad content vs. good content, hellban bad content specifically. possible improvement to an umbrella hellban