For those who don't know me, I am a huge fan of (in no specific order): coffee, breathing, peanut butter and puns. The latter of course is the reason for my purposely misspelled word in the title above.
Ok, maybe it's not a pun in the biblical sense but I think it's a pun nevertheless. If you don't agree with me, that's perfectly fine. And while I am not the world's greatest speller - although I did come in 2nd place in the 6th grade spelling bee a few years back, the reason for my incorrect spelling of the word "mover" is due to the fact that I want to tell you about something called "muuver."
As per their description on the crowdfunding site indiegogo.com, "muuver is a simple to use social app that let's you share your hypes and gripes, kudos & complaints, likes, and dislikes - about ANYTHING. muuver then takes your hype or gripe about an item and adds it to the 'item page' where you can see everybody else's posts who hyped or griped about that item."
Now I am a self-admitted social media junkie and anytime I hear of something new on the social media landscape I am usually drawn to it for at the very least to learn more about it.
Such was the case with muuver. When I heard about it then read about it on indiegogo.com, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.
So I tracked down the president of muuver, Paul Marek to learn more. I asked him the obvious questions of what exactly muuver is, how it works, do we really need another social media network and so on. But I started off querying him on why crowdfunding as a way to raise capital vs. the VC route - which other type startups seem to prefer.
SO: Why crowdfunding and not the traditional venture capital route?
PM: I decided to go the crowdfunding route after attempting to put together a few pitch decks. It was then I realized I was focusing too much on getting VC funding, and not worrying enough about getting the tool built for people to use so it could gain traction, so I stopped pursuing VCs. But there is one VC I'd really like to partner with - Vinod Khosla. I love his attitude about failure. I'd really like to partner with him and his group to leverage their wisdom and connections.
This has to be built by the people, for the people, from the ground up. Therefore, in keeping with the theme of muuver, crowdfunding was the only road we could take.
SO: What is muuver?
PM: That's a complex answer, but at it's essence, muuver is a tool that is designed to give power back to the people. It's designed to instantly connect and assemble people who share common ideas into groups, and uses the power of the collective voice of the group to create what we call a "muuvment".
It's complex because muuver is essentially a mashup of Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Yelp, Klout and Wikipedia, which is a lot of functionality all rolled into one. But, we've actually made it extremely simple to use. In it's simplest form, muuver is a place where you share your hypes, gripes, kudos, complaints, likes and dislikes... about anything. But then muuver automatically does a whole lot more from there.
Here's an example of how it works:
Let's say you want to post a gripe about CompanyXYZ. Posting a hype or a gripe is actually quite easy - you just use our 'muuvtags' instead of Twitter's 'hashtags'. To make a muuvtag, you put a PLUS sign in from of something you like, or a MINUS sign in front of something you dislike. If your item is more than one word, you just close the phrase with a plus or minus sign. So, to post your gripe you would post it like this "I had a really bad experience with -Company XYZ-.
The complexity grows from there, but muuver takes over and does the rest by adding your post to a page that only displays posts about that same item. So, your gripe about Company XYZ will get added to the "Company XYZ Item Page", which displays everyone else's post about Company XYZ. Company XYZ can then "Claim" that page and respond to people's hypes and gripes in full transparency. This is where the power is. But the item page not only shows everyone's post about the item with Company XYZ's responses, it also shows a bunch of stats about the item like its overall +/- score, it lets you "watch" or follow the item, it displays the item's popularity on muuver, shows total number of posts about the item, it's total number of 'voters', and lots more that we'll be revealing soon.
The +/- score is the most impactful stat though, because I think people don't just want to see how many people "like" a company, service, or product - they want to see how many people DISLIKE it too. Seeing both is seeing the truth. But muuver does this with ANYTHING that people put into it, not just products or companies. The users create the items.
But it goes even further from there. Since everyone who has an opinion about Company XYZ is now all in one place, we can then put this focused group into action. From here users will have access to a set of tools called a "muuvement" that anyone can create and manage. Muuvments are exactly what it sounds like - a group of people focused on a particular cause or action. Our muuvment suite of online tools has everything you need to inspire and manage your group into action, including their own status feed, forums, event management systems and calendars, petitions, and a whole lot more.
SO: What do you say to people who say "oh great, another social media network?"
PM: This is the issue I'm most focused on. My entire effort is to ensure that muuver is not just "another social network".
From a user standpoint, I feel that the old social sites each have critical elements missing that make them far less effective than they could be. Twitter has the character limitation, Facebook only has a Like button, StumbleUpon and Yelp are missing the deep networking aspect, and generally speaking, these sites are mostly just social fluff - pretty pictures and breakfast menus.
Yes, people have figured out ways to create huge social changes using these limited tools, people are innovative. But these old social networks were not designed specifically as tools to create social change - muuver is.
We take all the best aspects from each of the old networks, to make one that answers the yearning that people have had since the internet began - using it to create change. We're also eliminating user friction by allowing users access to muuver with any other major social account. And they can share their posts to any social account as well.
SO: What effect will muuver have on brands and businesses?
PM: From a business standpoint, I'm almost afraid to predict what kind of impact this will have. Companies will have to address issues that people raise in on muuver in full transparency, directly with the person having the issue. Companies won't have a choice about getting on muuver - the users will put them here. WHEN companies get involved will be the issue for them. But it'll work both ways... companies will get the full benefit of people's hypes, kudos and likes as well.
SO: When will the site will go into Beta and when will it go live?
PM: Our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo lasts for 60 days, which is mid July. We're hoping to launch our Beta platform a few weeks later at the end of July - it'll depend how our crowdfunding campaign goes. Some of the perks we're offering in our crowdfund campaign give the contributor immediate access to our alpha platform, and we'll be using those lucky people to start creating a nice data set that Beta users can then begin to interact with when we launch at the end of July. When a full public launch will take place after that will be up to the Beta users to vote on and decide.
Ok, so what do you think of all this?
Do you think this sounds like something you would be interested in?
Me? I honestly don't know if muuver is something I will ultimately use or not. I will more than likely kick its proverbial tires when it goes live.
Image source: Google Images