But seriously, I am unclear on pretty much every aspect of this. Even the screenshots give very little info. I don't know if I'm going to need to sign up for an account, or whether I'd be receiving "infections" from Portland and Boise or just up the block here in Seattle. And since I'm guessing 90% of these items are going to originate on the wider net to begin with, or be posted there simultaneously, the benefit to me seems dubious at best.
A more limited version that only sends stuff over local wifi or using local wifi as a beacon to make an ad hoc connection between "carriers" would be cool, though. More hyperlocal, you can be sure if the thing has only taken two or three steps, it was someone nearby who made it. Maybe that's how it works; there's no way to know for sure and I don't really plan to find out!
No account creation, so it's probably just tied to your device - sort of like Yik Yak, I guess. Things seem to be geographically correlated, though I imagine that the more 'viral' a thing is, presumably the further it can spread.
edit: I guess you can create an account, but it's not required to 'infect' crap.
At least here in NYC, it seems like one user is generating 99% of all content. A third of it is "art", a third of it is gifs of girls twerking, and another third is just celebrity snapshots.
I've been working on a similar concept called Ripple, and launched 2 days ago. I heard of Plague days after submitting my app to the iOS store, and found it to be a bit different from what I want to focus on.
I do think it's possible to create a community with this type of concept without all the clutter, and have it simultaneously focus on local (city or neighborhood wide) events and news.
Ripple allows users to only submit text-based content for now, and presents all content in table form instead of individual cards. We've found that this combination really focuses the type of content shared as well as allows users to browse content and spread "ripples" they truly find engaging. There is also a bit of a difference with how ripples are spread versus how plague infects people. Ripples are received by users only once.
Though we are at the beginning of our user base building and want many users on Ripple, we are also promoting this in specific cities and communities to have people share local news that matters amongst each other.
Check it out here: http://getkefi.com/ripple
I'd love to hear all your feedback and thoughts.
Yes, there are a couple of products out there with the name Ripple, but I don't think the vast majority of people know any of them, including this.
If this does turn out to be a problem, I'll rename in a heartbeat!
Cool concept, i'll check it out soon! Best of luck.
A few weeks ago, I was stuck on a freeway. Completely stopped. After about 10 minutes of no motion I really wished I had been able to do a "search within 1/2 mile of my location" sort of thing to find out what was going on and when it would likely be fixed, so I could decide to tell the friends I was meeting "I'll be a bit late" or "Sorry, guys, go on without me".
Which has nothing to do with actually being near said locality. I think filtering on geographic locations is great, but even greater is that ability to do so while remote. I can learn about events occurring in and around a specific area without actually being in that area. That's (part of) the beauty of the internet.
I'm way more likely to be interested in stuff happening near where I currently am than in some other arbitrary place.
Sure, sometimes it makes sense to be able to search elsewhere, but that makes things more complicated for marginal gains.
Yelp is a good example. Yes, I've used it to research food in other locations, but it would still be 95% as useful to me if the only thing it did was show me stuff that was nearby, since that's what I almost always use it for.
Also, at some point a few months ago they redesigned the ride sharing interface. I'm referring to the feature where you can link a friend so they can see your drive. I used this all the time with my girlfriend when I'd come to visit, so she could see how close I was. Then it completely broke. It became horribly unreliable.
In the end I left Waze for Google Maps because it didn't seem to actually deliver on any of its goals.
Waze has saved me a huge amount of time by routing me around the random traffic I have in my area in ways that I'd have never thought of.
And the ride sharing update actually made the feature usable for me whereas before it just seemed to lock the app up as often as not.
It seemed to behave strangely on a long road trip, trying to send me on a very bizarre and obviously wrong path, but aside from that I've got nothing but good things to say about it -- oh, except the bizarre 'lets put up a popup ad in your way when you stop at a light when you will be most likely be looking for direction clarification' thing it has been doing lately.
Waze's routing just did not satisfy me. It tended to prefer highly complex routes, sometimes just for the sake of avoiding a tiny little stretch of road where it thought there was heavy traffic. Half the time, it was wrong about the more complex route being faster. When it was right, though, the added labor of following that route wasn't really worth it, because it would only save me a negligible amount of time.
Waze claims to learn your favorite routes. It never seemed to learn anything at all about my favorite routes. As far as I could tell, this feature didn't exist.
The ride sharing update not only made it much more frustrating to share the ride -- before you had a great link you could just paste or share anywhere, now it's some sort of Waze-specific notification which goes away and gets lost after you click on it -- but it also made the ride sharing maps nearly non-functional. Whenever my girlfriend or I would use it, it would almost never actually update the other person's position on the map. We tried this several times over the course of more than a month and the failure rate was very high.
In my opinion, if there were bugs causing it to crash before (which I never experienced), they should have just fixed those bugs. The interface "improvement" was a huge step back for me.
Maybe all this is fixed now. I hope so. But it wasn't that long ago that I switched away from it -- about a month or two after the ride sharing update.
I'm surprised that you find Google Maps superior after the Waze acquisition; you'd think both products would be approaching a feature-equilibrium by now.
I was very confused, even despite the handy animation they showed me (I apparently can't recognize the iOS notification center on sight, so thought it was showing me something on Android that I'd never seen before).
I believe Google uses the crowdsourced Waze data in various ways, e.g., for their traffic maps, but I'm not sure of a source for that.
To be fair, the description of this app it's so vague that it's hard to see how distance would affect its users.
Once they gain traction, you will get too many infections from around the world and may be interesting in what is happening local.
I like how vague it is - it is allowing the the users to define it's purpose. A bit like Facebook.
Already seen too many cats on there for one day though. One is too many.
Well, that's the fatal flaw of this recurring "let's build a local social network!" idea... if you wanted to indiscriminately talk to people all around you in your area, you already would be. By and large, you don't have every neighbor on your Facebook because you don't really want them there.... I still haven't seen a compelling use case that isn't based largely on wishful thinking or nostalgia (often for eras not lived in by the nostalgia-ee that may or may not even have existed...), rather than being based on some sort of witnessed need.
Also, many communication platforms have "arbitrary" constraints (square photos, 140 characters) that help shape the user experience.
See some of the coverage on the use of FireChat in Hong Kong (http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/16/tech/mobile/tomorrow-transform...).
Along a similar vein, I could see localized information being very useful during an emergency or natural disaster. "Downed power lines on Main Street" means different things depending on the poster's geography.
It does seem like a cool idea though.
There was no news, no actual information. Only a series of random pictures, screenshots of other apps, and vague comments about whatever what on the poster's mind.
Social news will always have a near zero signal to noise ratio.
For me, it's like the spiritual, mobile successor to mainpage reddit, i.e., a nice casual way to consume & share neat photos, links, and interesting "what if...?" questions.
So far at least, the community has been very positive, and not overrun with 9gag-style inanity.
An interesting aspect of the dissemination scheme is that even popular cards will only spread to, say, 100 to 1000 people. This keeps the conversations on the cards small enough to still be intimate.
"Plague is an essentially different way to spread information.
The idea for Plague is to create a perfect medium for spreading information as wide as it deserves to be spread, without any boundaries.
Plague works like a virus. When you spread information, it goes to the users who are closest to you physically. The infected users can spread information exponentially further or they can resist the epidemic by keeping the information to themselves.
Everyone has a fair and equal chance to be heard by the whole network right from the start - there is no friending or following on Plague. If your information is interesting to people, it can eventually spread to the entire world."
After one hour of seeing "motivational quotes" and "funny pictures" I about had enough.
I just tried it in Toronto and had to swipe down about 50 times to get rid of obvious (and NSFW) spam.
The content is better now, but all coming from the eastern USA.
I tried to comment on something, and got prompted to register. But after I registered, I lost the card I was going to comment on, and there appears to be no way to go back to a previous card.
The geolocation is a little wonky ("Nueva York, Estados Unidos").
But the idea is solid. The Internet went global, but really a lot of the activity now is making it local again.
It seems like the range can get pretty large. I live in the middle of nowhere. My first few images were from maybe ~5 miles away, but after using it for a bit I'm getting messages from 40-100 miles away.
You don't need an account, but it gives an option to create an account to "track" your infections as they spread.
A few bits I've noticed over 25+ years in the industry in assessing technology product and service offerings: hardware, software, SAAS, PAAS, and more.
⚫ Tell me what your product is. What it does, where it works, how it does it, what it requires. Is it a physical product (or is it shipped in one), an interactive application, a Web service, a programming language / tool? As a reader notes, don't make me use Wikipedia to figure out WTF your company does.
(Previously on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7489870)
Epidemic information distribution was the center piece of the paper "Epidemic information dissemination in distributed systems" and highlighted in Gossip.
Marketing words that have a better connotation for this might be 'discovery' or 'enlightment' or 'intuition', even 'gossip', even though it is often a scourge in middle school, has a better reception than 'plague'.
“don't know if I'm going to need to sign up”
“benefit to me seems dubious”
“what this things actually do?”
“This page is totally devoid of content”
“If it wasn't for the comments… I would have closed it and forgot about it forever”
“Tell me what your product is. What it does, where it works, how it does it, what it requires. Is it a physical product (or is it shipped in one), an interactive application, a Web service, a programming language / tool? As a reader notes, don't make me use Wikipedia to figure out WTF your company does”
1) Lower your bar for trying new things
2) Don’t be so cynical and quick to judge.
“The best way to find out what it does is to download the app.”
For a new product/app, the onus is on the company creating it to explain why I would want/need their product. I'm not going to go around installing random things on my phone just to 'find out what it does'. I want at least some idea of what the app does before installing.
No compelling use-case? No download.
There are many good reasons to be a late adopter, safety is one. I don't think they should optimize their landing page for late adopters.
Judging from the site I thought Plague would be a new take on Reddit. Where Reddit asks if you like or dislike a Meme (we need a new word). Plague asks if you want to slow down or speed up its spread. This difference should mean different content is surfaced.
Late adopters will probably already know about the product before downloading it. It's the first adopters you need to provide the description for.
Having a page detailing what the product offers never killed any marketing attempt (unless we are talking complete vaporware, that is).
I personally wasn't sure if I was looking at a game or some social app, and certainly I wouldn't install everything that shows up on HN for the sake of trying (we would wind up with a hundred apps per week, each with its own security clearance!)
Other than that, it's an interesting idea. For those who are unclear on how this actually works, it presents cards with information on them that others nearby you have posted (photos, etc.). You can swipe up to "infect" nearby people (send the card to them) or swipe down to do nothing. Also, I didn't have to sign up or create an account to start swiping.
==== The mechanics ====
Basically you share cards with short messages, pictures and videos. When you post a card you infect a few people who are closest to you.
Then those people see it as a card, and decide whether to swipe up to infect more people close to them, or swipe down to ignore.
If you make something popular and people tend to swipe up 25% or more of the time, it slowly will spread across the world.
I live in Sydney, so with a faily dense userbase here, the first infections are in the same city. However if you live somewhere without any users nearby the infections will go further geographically to find the nearest 4 or so people.
The more success you have with infecting people, the more your infection index goes up, and so the more people you infect when you post or swipe up.
In addition there are comments on cards. If you make a comment you get subscribed to the card and altered on further comments. You can unsubscribe from a card when this gets annoying.
==== Expect to see ====
► Memes copied from other sites. This leads to popular cards complaining about this, and saying to not upswipe memes.
► More memes.
► Even more memes.
► Inspirational quotes, mostly cliche but sometimes something new.
► Pet cats, dogs as expected.
► Pretty women, boobs, etc.
► Holiday photos.
► A small amount of politics.
► Screenshot of a plague card, which someone else takes a screenshot of so you get a recursion. Those are really boring now!
► More Memes.
► Vary rarely inappropriate things - NSFW, porn, hatred etc. The system seems good at self policing that kind of rubbish.
==== What is it for ====
In my opinion it is for mindless entertainment. The same way you may hang out on Facebook for an hour because you are bored. This fills a boredom hole and can get addictive, especially with the gamification of rewards (higher infection ability) for creating new messages and getting to argue with strangers about pointless stuff.
For this reason alone I decided to uninstall.
I don't think this app does information sharing any better than, say, twitter (far worse, imo) - but i find your response puzzling.
Since your issue is not of the quality of content (signal/noise), and instead that of locality.. that you believe you can just walk out of your door and get the same information this app provides - I ask you, can you? Can you walk out your door, and receive similar info to that of this app?
The range on the internet far exceeds most peoples doorstep. Mine for sure, at least.
This would be a great technology to spread important information but I don't know how you'd filter that without defeating the purpose of "infecting" people.
Also, would be nice to be able to go back to a post I accidentally swiped.
How nice just as you pass Benny Giraffe store:
"Today 50% off healthy biscuits for Giraffes."
It could get very addictive.
1. Please make the videos not auto-play! Embarrassing at work.
2. Please properly set the audio source in Android, so that when I adjust the volume it isn't the ringer volume but the app volume.