Twitter was something I started using in 2007. I wasn't sure why I'd want to use it at the time but my desk neighbor at Sense, said, 'just try it'. Well, he was right and it was a pretty appealing service back then. I feel that over time the fun and amusement I got from it has drained away. And I think the main reason for this is the rise of what I call, the marketed self. And this is something that has affected all digital socially skewed services.
The marketed self is the trend you see in most social media streams such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter where people post things that make themselves, their connections, knowledge or life seem impressive. These services which were originally intended for ways for people to keep in touch with others have gradually become personal marketing channels and to me, it all feels a bit wrong and a bit sad. Of course like everything, they have created other benefits. Instagram is a great channel to keep up with artists you like for example. As if it's the manifestation of what RSS couldn't achieve.
Twitter I think, to be fair is the least offensive of these however Twitter's problem in my eyes is the way that people post links to things they think are 'cool' or their Instagram feed, or twitpics of what they're doing. Words on their own, people's thoughts and musings seemed to have faded backwards in their importance and this to me felt like the good bit. Trains of thought, inane comments, funny jokes. The statements that showed true human character. The reason I was following someone, was not for their links to cat gifs but because of their thoughts, their mind, them as a person. I miss this aspect and I wondered if I could build something which for me, reinvigorated the Twitter I once knew and loved.
So I got to designing it. It wasn't so hard. More a case of what could be fiddled with in the API. Twitter has great documentation of their API so again, not so strenuous. I should point out here that a friend of mine was doing the API tinkering, not me. I simply produced a few simple icons and some basic visual design (again, not my forte). After a few passes at design options I had something simple and compelling (for me).
I began to think about releasing the product to the world. This would clearly not make any money and would only perhaps be vaguely interesting to about 1% of Twitter users. But still, that's lots of people and I was interested to see if it would stick and to see if Twitter would revoke the tokens post launch.
Little Voices was born. I've decided against showing some to the design iterations as there are a few ideas which I want to use on other products so I'm not so sure I want to play that hand yet as it were.
This then became the first Sunday Hunches product.
It's live in the iTunes store.