As for myself, I spend 90% of my time (outside of work) alone, and there are a lot of wonderful things I see and think while wandering slowly in the early morning or evenings. It's not that I want to be alone, it's just really hard to find the right people, even knowing they're out in the world.
I wouldn't want to spend too much time interacting with my phone, but this app could be a nice place to check in and see that others are delighting in the world just the same as me, wandering alone. Like a nod to strangers who share the same concept. Nice work.
However, in my personal experience, solitude is a state of being I do not wish to share with others when I'm experiencing it. It's a place I go to get away from the bombardment of thoughts and ideas and senseless chatter we all suffer through (although some enjoy it more than others). It's a place for quiet reflection and meditative concentration on self improvement and pursuit of happiness. When I want to be alone I want to be absolutely alone because each time I emerge a new person.
Then again, take what I say with a grain of salt; I don't even have a smartphone for precisely the reasons above. I view the level of mindless connectivity we all have with each other now to be somewhat insane.
All that said, if you can get more people to enjoy time by themselves, even if it is with the crutch of a smartphone, I would consider this app the methadone to social media's heroine. You have my blessing =].
When I'm alone, actually, what I want is to document my experiences-- not necessarily for anyone to see later, just to keep some kind of record. This is usually this is not in the form of pictures I can take of my external surroundings, but of ideas or feelings I have in my head.
Social networking sites are all predicated on the assumption that people want to be social. And yet, we hear how people are actually becoming more solitary, more lonely. I look at this and think "there's a disconnect here, and it's getting worse over time."
We need anti-social networks: networks that get the lonely and solitary people. Once those networks become established, then we might have a chance to help people become less lonely (I'm taking it as given that we only care about people who want to become less lonely). I don't know what that would look like, and maybe wtsui isn't even thinking about all this, but I'm convinced that Solo, or something like it, is the right place to start.
Networks that help us connect with each other and reduce loneliness will get better and better, but I don't think they'll be centered around loneliness in particular.
Beyond networks, there have been a lot of good tips and interesting discussions on HN about coping with loneliness (https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Anews.ycombinator.com+...).
As macu commented earlier: "It's just really hard to find the right people, even knowing they're out in the world." I think we all have to experience some amount of loneliness as we try to find the right connections for ourselves in life. I hope Solo can help people find a little more peace and patience as they continue to search.
Regarding spam/inappropriate content, if you need any advice/guidance on how to best identify/block naughty people, feel free to send me an email.
Separately, I see all your submissions to HN are about loneliness, and Solo seems to have iterated through a number of names/goals, I'd love to hear how this idea evolved to what it is today.
Solo/Solitude is fantastically better than Anon App Anonymous Instagram, but one couldn't know that beforehand, what led you to change the name and what lessons did you learn along the way?
Initial users are friends and some nice people from /r/introvert on reddit.
Lonenote was inspired by PostSecret, a project I volunteer for. Lonenote seemed like a good idea at the time but ended up being a bad merging of two products, a niche handwriting app and the alone sharing app I really wanted to build, which is now Solo. I thought the novelty handwriting feature was necessary to bring attention to the alone idea.
Anon was an attempt to follow the early anonymous app wave and a reaction to Whisper, where people share stock images that are disconnected from real life.
Solo is the app I wanted to make even if no one but a few people would use it. I switched to 'Solo' because I wanted the name to express both the positive and negative sides of the alone experience.
Is seems like polluting the quiet and peace of these moments with a social media gimmick.
I don't mean to say this is worthless, I'm just puzzled at the approach which seems paradoxical to me.
Sort of like how a lot of people use Tumblr vs Instagram - but this has (probably) less friction than Tumblr and is more about sharing a moment than Tumblr is.
I think moments alone can be beautiful and sometimes we might want to share them with others. When we feel lonely, this app could show us that we are not the only ones.
As it stands, because it's a free app, my concern is that if I use it, then I will probably end up being the product instead of the customer.
I signed up for the Android version. Looking forward to it.
I'm just wondering why that poster is trying to put a spotlight on your submission history. It just seems like they're trying to somehow degrade your work by pointing out something I guess most people find pretty personal, and it just frustrates me that they would do that. Keep up the good work.