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Show HN: Solo - An app for sharing solitude and loneliness (sharesolo.com)
100 points by wtsui on July 3, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 55 comments

I signed up to wait for the Android version.

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.

That's exactly what this app is about. Thanks for signing up :)

You should check out http://www.peeky.co ;-)

I respect the author and his approach. There's a lot to be said for quieting the noise we subject ourselves to at every turn.

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 =].

I personally feel the same way, especially the bit about always emerging a new person each time, and also do not have a smartphone for this reason.

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.

I can't wait until this gets monetized with iAds targeted to lonely people.

Don't worry, no plans to have ads on here.

What a fascinating idea. I hope this (or something like it) becomes bigger than Facebook.

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.

Loneliness does seem to be a widespread issue.

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.

This is really great. I'm pretty impressed with the decent amount of initial content. Where did you get your initial contributors? Is it entirely organic?

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?

Thanks! That's kind of you to offer, will keep that in mind.

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.

I like the concept, so I gave it a download. The first immediate comment is that I keep trying to edge-swipe to get from a post back to the main feed, and it's not working. Otherwise, I'll have to poke around more to get a feel for how the community develops. Seems like an interesting experiment.

Great UI feedback. Definitely adding it to the list!

You HN [submission history](https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=wtsui) shows lots of posts about loneliness -:). However, this is a great idea, something which I can use a lot!

I mean... there's no way for this to NOT fill up with dick photos...

Some moments alone shouldn't be shared...

Posts are flaggable and will be reviewed by moderators similar to Whisper.

That's nice work. Do you have plans to add a web interface? I think at least for viewing/commenting posts. That way posts could reach a larger audience

Thanks for checking it out! Will consider adding a web interface once I get a sense of the app's usage.

I respect you for creating something very useful and well designed. I hope you'll set aside some of the immature remarks and focus on all the upvotes!

Thanks! :)

Isn't the beauty of solitary moments precisely that they are solitary? Much like how a good moment spent with a single other person is precious because of the intimacy.

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.

I don't know - there's been times when I see something cool, beautiful, weird etc and would like to share it, but don't want to share it with people I actually know.

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 thought about that a lot. I tried to make the app so it would be a quiet complement to our solitary moments.

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.

I think it's fine, it just shouldn't display other people's comments or likes.

I wish I knew if this is a business or a project. If it's a business, I wish I could understand the business model.

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.

It is and always will be a non-profit project, so no need to worry.

Totally get and respect that. Thanks for clarifying it, and especially for choosing a not for profit way.

nice, thanks, wtsui!

Looks like a great app and would love to try it, one thing to note is that searching "Solo" in the iOS app store returns a bunch of various guitar apps, I couldn't find it without including "share moments alone".

I'd love to see face recognition being implemented in this app to ensure that group photos don't appear.

But what if you are "alone" in a crowd? At a concert, times square, etc. You can be lonely even when surrounded by people, in fact; it is often then that you feel the most alone.

Completely agree. I feel most alone at parties full of people I have nothing in common with

The font on your landing page looks like fixedsys and turned me off the app completely.

I can't tell whether this is sarcasm, but if it is seriously meant I really don't understand this kind of thinking. I get that a subjective feeling is being expressed, and that a similarly subjective impression that a poor design decision carries other implications might give one pause. But to completely discount a (non-typographic) project based solely upon a typeface? What am I missing?

Looks beautiful!

I signed up for the Android version. Looking forward to it.

What is the difference to Secret?

Solo is about sharing the experience of being alone. Secret is about sharing secrets with friends.

Do you moderate out photos that don't conform? Or is it merely a photo sharing app?

Posts that are obviously inappropriate are moderated.

One notable difference for several billion people is that Secret is not available outside of the US App Store. Solo is :)

No idea about the App Store, on Play it is available in Germany.

set your debug flag off :S!!

Thx :) Working on it.


hahahaha what a piece of shit.

You certainly have a problem with lonelines... https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=wtsui

What are you trying to achieve? How is this useful?

My hope is to help lonely people feel a sense of connection with others.

Don't worry, I saw the value pretty quickly.

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.

FYI, I suspect that pizza was referring to aabalkan's post, not your app.

Somehow missed the indent. Thanks :)

Are those apps all different concepts, or iterations of the core idea?

Different attempts to get at more or less the same thing.

It's an issue I care about :)

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