Idea #13 – An Online Hope Exchange

by Byron on January 19, 2012

The Problem

It is difficult to find someone unbiased, with the experience you want and need, to talk to.  It is difficult to meet people online.  Sometimes you need to talk to someone not in your life.

The Business

Hopeexchangewithastranger.com

A website where you can instantly video chat, face to face, with someone who can relate to whatever it is you want to talk about.

You click checkboxes to convey the subject on which you need advice.  You need to speak now.  Someone whom the site deems to be a good match for you is contacted.  The site knows, maybe via Facebook, if the helper is online.  It says, “Would you like to help someone right now?”  If the helper says yes, the video chat begins immediately.

Doableness

I think face-to-face video is ubiquitous for sex/porn/live cams.  Why not for hope and advice?  I’m not sure if these sex webcams go both ways (no pun intended), but if so, sounds like the technology is no problem.

I think this “hope exchange” for lack of a better word is likely an idea that either catches quickly and spreads or doesn’t catch at all.  Hope has never sold as well as sex, but there might be room for hope’s success yet.

My Thoughts

It seems that, in many ways, this is the promise of the Internet.  It is what’s going on now – ehow, YouTube instruction videos, blogs, facebook, chat, etc.  This service needs to be instant.  It needs to be free.  It needs to be someone you don’t know.  It needs to foster a community of giving and receiving.

Call me naïve, but I think people instinctively want to help other people, unrelated to money.  I think this site could have tremendous engagement.  It has to scale quickly in order to work.

People would get points for helping, as judged by those they’ve helped.  Over time that separates the wheat from the chaff.  Both helper and helpee give immediate feedback on their experience.

The reason we succeed or fail as a species is sharing knowledge with each other.  How many people had to die before people stopped eating the poisonous berries?  We survive because we learn from each other and we disseminate solutions.

The Internet is excellent at disseminating factual solutions.  It isn’t great at disseminating very personal solutions or very spiritual solutions.  That has to be done one on one.  This idea might be a part of that solution.

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