I Have a Secret, & It’s Called Whisper

Whisper App

Whisper is a mobile app that enables users to share secrets anonymously. Users can place text over various backgrounds that illustrate the theme of the secrets they share. The app claims to provide complete anonymity to its user. However, with today’s social media tools at everyone’s fingertips, it may be difficult for users to keep their identities hidden.

The idea of Whisper is similar to that of the popular website PostSecret, which was founded by Frank Warren in 2004 as a way for people to share their secrets in the form of postcards. PostSecret contributors anonymously send physical postcards to a central mailing address to be featured on the website. After generating a huge following, PostSecret even published a number of books of fan-submitted secrets and confessions. Founder Frank Warren also hosts live events for PostSecret fans and contributors to meet each other and listen together to more secrets and stories.

There is an enormous sentiment of community and trust among PostSecret fans. Whisper, only having been around for a couple of years, has the potential to generate a similar community based on trust and common feelings. However, the nature of PostSecret’s process of gathering physical postcards via snail mail enables PostSecret contributors to maintain their anonymity to a greater degree than Whisper contributors. Whisper, which allows users to quickly and easily upload their deep dark thoughts and confessions directly from their mobile devices to an online network of countless other users, might not be able to hide users’ true identities as to the same extent as PostSecret. The nature of the sharing process is different, and so the level of trust among users is also different.

Will Whisper prove to be as influential and popular as PostSecret? Does true anonymity really exist anymore on the Internet or on social media? There’s really no definitive answer yet, but it’s definitely important for Internet users to be wary of what they share online.

Silverback Social CEO Chris Dessi spoke to Fox News last night to weigh in on Whisper. Would you share your deepest darkest secrets on Whisper? Let us know in the comments below.

Google Wants To Use Your Photo To Promote Stuff In Ads

Monday I was invited to join Shepard Smith Fox News to discuss that on November 11th Google will change its policy and Google’s Shared Endorsements will have access to your photo which could potentially be used in ads.  The ads will look like this:

Here are my notes from my appearance.  Let me know what you think about all of this in the comments below?

I’m experiencing cognitive dissonance because as a marketer I get it, as a consumer, I don’t love the OPT OUT model of permission based marketing.

GOOD STUFF: Google is using the information we’ve already provided, and this can be compelling. We like what our friends like. So if we search for an italian restaurant and a friend likes that restaurant, chances are greater we’ll go. It’s a marketers dream. This could enhance users review experiences by putting a face to the name, building trust and helping businesses.

BAD STUFF- FTC- They’re following this sort of bullying – We did this, now it’s up to you to figure out how to undo it” mentality . Facebook has been sued over similar advertising products like Sponsored Stories showing friends’ profile pics next to brands they liked on the social network.

FUNNY STUFF – New Google Ad Policy Sees Users Replacing Their Profile Pictures With Eric Schmidt’s

REALITY Google isn’t big brother – We’re big brother. The trojan horses are our little mega computers in our pockets. The manner in which we aggregate and disseminate information as a culture has changed so the horse is out of the barn.

POINT Whether you like it or not social media/digital is HAPPENING to you. People have the ability to tag you in photos on Facebook, so even if you change your photo, somewhere there is a photo of you floating around.

FINAL NOTE TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DIGITAL BRAND IDENTITY – hire an agency for your brand, or if your a corporate executive, if not, start to blog, create social profiles with your full name and as little or as much information as you see fit. So if someone searches for you they see what you want them to see.