Guy Kawasaki’s Truemors

Guy Kawasaki’s new site Truemors is opening Wednesday. It’s going to be interesting to see how the off line submission via phone or text message, email all unfolds. The users will either make or break the site. Boundaries can vary and be wide so the goal of democratization of information and demonstrative technology is either going to be met or it’s going to turn into a free for all with untrue and harmful information.

I had a chance to check out Guy Kawasaki’s new site Truemors which will open Wednesday morning.

Now I’m not a pro blogger or a techie, nor do I play one on the Web or TV, but I’m not exactly a Luddite either. As a result, you’re not going to get a tech review here.

I do travel in circles where business conventions are adhered to, more or less, and where people still use terms like “bottom line” and “outside the box.”

You can call me whatever you’d like, but I know what works for me and I know what I like.

I am not, however, closed minded. I like to learn and grow and experiment and explore, and that’s what I did at Truemors.

Here’s what the Truemors About page has to say about the What and Why of Truemors:

Truemors is a web site that enables you to “tell the world” whatever you want—within the bounds of good taste and the law anyway. You can post your rumors, thoughts, news, opinions, celebrity sightings, and personal greetings, and anyone with web access can read them within minutes. Twitter, BoredAt, Digg, PostSecret, PopSugar, and HotOrNot inspired us—mull that over for a few minutes—and we wish to acknowledge their pioneering work.

First, call us romantics, but we believe in the democratization of information—that is, access for everyone to everything. A long time ago royalty and religious leaders had scribes. Around 600 the Chinese printed using negative reliefs. Around 1450 Johann Gutenberg combined hundreds of years of progress into the screw printing press.

Fast forward to 1985 when Apple (Macintosh), Aldus (PageMaker), and Adobe (PostScript) produced “desktop publishing.” A few years later people could create web sites. Then blogging appeared on the scene. Still, people needed a computer and a blogging tool like WordPress or TypePad to disseminate information. Not that Truemors is in the same league as Gutenberg, Apple, Aldus, Adobe, etc, but now all that people need is a phone to “tell the world.”

Second, we also believe in demonstrative technology—that is, products that enable the open exhibition and expression of information, emotions, and opinions. Where democratization implies that the many can read the content of the few, demonstrative technology enables the many to create content too. Thus, Truemors is the melding of democratization and demonstration—and you thought it was just a web site.

Sounds like a pretty noble declaration to me.

What exactly do “democratization of information” and “demonstrative technology” mean to you and me? It means that we’ll have access to raw, unfiltered information from people like you and me – without editing, reporting, or spin.

A few personal thoughts on Truemors:

First, the platform allows for off line submission, via phone or text message, as well as by email and online, allowing for the almost instantaneous transmission and dissemination of information. This will be very interesting to watch unfold.

Second, as an ex-options and futures trader, I can already see Truemors spinning off or giving rise to a myriad of prediction markets, like the University of Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) where real financial contracts are traded on Presidential Nominees, Presidential Elections, Federal Reserve Policy, Computer Industry Returns, and Movie Box Office Receipts, and Hedge Street, which is a CFTC regulated derivatives (options and futures) market that lists contracts on the CPI, the Fed Funds rate, initial unemployment claims, and housing prices in 10 major cities.

Finally, it’s up to the users to make or break the site. The boundaries
of “good taste” can sometimes be very wide and varied, and the law can
be subject to interpretation. If users publish untrue, offensive, harmful, or malicious information, it will turn into a free-for-all, like free beer at a wedding or an all-you-can-eat buffet. If site visitors act responsibly and post as truthfully and accurately as humanly possible, then the goals of “democratization of information” and “demonstrative technology” will be met and all will be better for it.

The entrepreneur in me says it’s a go.

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