"a fun and easy way to see and discuss the things people are buying," according to their website.
Like Twitter, Blippy allows users to post updates about what they're doing, which books they are reading, and what songs they are listening to - but not by simply stating such information. Instead, Blippy users register a credit card to their account and "status updates" become "transaction updates" everytime they make a purchase.
Blippy users allow their credit card to create transaction updates not only about where they spend money, but in some cases how much they spent, and what exactly they spent it on. They also have the ability to comment on user purchases or "like" them - the social aspect of the site.
I'll admit, many of my peers and I are open to the concept that privacy on the internet is gone, but now I think...privacy is dead. Yes, of course, only those people who want to share this type of information on the internet sign up for Blippy accounts, and even those with an account can choose to limit who has access to their transaction updates, but the fact that this site has even a mediocre following worries me. What does this new networking site imply about social sharing, and more importantly, is it useful for anything?
In my opinion, this is way over sharing (although not the first example, see Facebook's Beacon). We already live in world where you can find out where somebody goes to school, who their past three employers were, and what kind of coffee they drink while writing papers - all you have to do is Google a name, look at a Twitter account, or view a Facebook profile and you have instant access to a wealth of personal information. Starting a conversation on Twitter about a great article you read is one thing. Allowing your credit card to report to the whole world that you just spent $19.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond on a Snuggie and allowing your friends to comment on your purchase - well that's just too much for me.
There are also potential hazards associated with a site like Blippy. There is the threat of hackers gaining access to users credit card information, and while Blippy has promised not to share user information with third-parties, maybe users have yet to read the fine print.
If I had to choose one thing this social networking site might be useful for (and this is hard to do), I would say: market research. For example, it might be useful for a firm to track their client's book sales - where they are purchasing from and what users have to say about this - any type of purchase patterns among users.
If our spending habits are now a component of social media, who knows? Maybe in ten years from now we will all have mobile phones which live stream updates about our body temperatures and heart rates to our Twitter accounts for our friends to comment on.
Stephen Colbert takes a satirical approach to the over sharing situation.
I'm curious to hear what you think. Would you tweet about your spending habits on Twitter?