Wonder how to tell that stranger you met on the road what you think? Try Blauk.
Social networking has, in recent time revolutionised the world's primary ways of interaction. Here comes another concept furthering this trend, but in its own exclusive sense. How many times has a stranger at a random place made a deep enough impact on you; but you failed to find ways to convey, given the lack of avenues? Or, the fear of not conforming to social courtesies, made you feel inhibited? Perhaps you would never see them again…And the story comes to a close; maybe not. It is precisely this kind of an interest that Blauk aims to fulfil. In other words, it says, now, nothing is really impossible.
Started by Samson Manickaraj, 30, in January 2010, Blauk has already reached over 60,000 users. The tagline goes — I saw you there and I thought… 'It primarily appeals to everybody's inner instinct of knowing what others think of them'. It works both ways then; the desire to know someone and the elation of knowing how the world looks at you. Therefore it doesn't take much to get hooked to this site, browsing through it and hoping to see, somewhere, a detailed description of one self.
The youngest Blauk user happens to be 13 years and the oldest — 72 years, and that it means it is already catering to not only to a wide gamut of people but also not making it “ideal” for specific age groups. What makes this different from the numerous others that are already in existence and thriving in the youth groups, though? A research analyst in Culver City, California, recently stated at a major internet conference that a concept like Blauk comes out once every 30 years and ends up changing the way we see the world.
While most of the others work to keep you in touch with those you already know and those whom you have met in life too. But this one leaves open the choice- of either taking it to the next level or leaving it at that. It is democratic in process and ideology — free expression, encourages opinions, highlights people's interest in strangers and their idiosyncrasies and shrinks the world further. So at another level, it helps in gauging social thought across people. What is also significantly good is that personal information is kept at that, and if the user engages in posting offensive messages, he is banned. So that makes it less prone to lapses.
However, Blauk is still in its nascent stage and a lot of improvements and diversification are on their way. In fact, top marketing firms are working on enhancing user experience. The recent contemplation is enabling a chat feature owing to demands of some of its users- which goes to say that people are indeed looking at connecting. Says Mr. Manickaraj, "this is just not any social networking site but one that aims at fulfilling a certain void that is present in the real world as well as the virtual."
He indeed sounds confident as he says that nothing in the next hundred years can reduce networking to this level. Though little differentiates personal from the political these days, Blauk certainly seems to appeal to the world views, ideas and perspectives of this generation. Let's hope Blauk is truly India's big contribution to social networking.
Niharika is a II year BA Literature student of Stella Maris College.