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Kiwi food for thought

01 Jan 12

It’s about time New Zealand came out with its own social media site! But this is no knock-off Facebook – the brainchild of New Zealand software developer Ben Liebert, www.stringsof.me is a thought-provoking and engaging new form of social media that has gained a strong following since its launch three months ago.
stringsof.me asks users a question every day, which gives them the chance to not only take a few minutes out of their day to ponder, but also allows them to tap into their creative side, says Liebert. As well as being a new social media platform, stringsof.me also acts as an online diary.

Every day a new question is posed, then, on the same day in subsequent years, the same question is asked again, which allows users to see if their views on the world around them have changed. Kind of like an electronic time capsule!
With questions ranging from the deep (I believe the secret to a happy life is…) to the strange (In the event of a worldwide zombie attack, my go-bag would contain…?), and to the light-hearted (Next time Gordon Ramsey comes to dinner I’ll cook…), stringsof.me gives users a chance to share their views on the world, interact with each other, as well as to think about things that may never have crossed their minds.
Liebert says the idea for the website stemmed from a conversation with his wife about how much they had changed since they first met. "We began talking about how it would be cool to chat with yourself from 10 years ago and see how much you’d changed and what parts of you remained the same,” he says. "At the same time I was working on the idea for a website where I wanted to ask people a single question each day and have everybody chip in, so eventually stringsof.me became a hybrid of the two.”
Liebert says stringsof.me offers a uniquely different experience to other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are largely based around the things that are happening at a particular moment on a particular day. "One thing that I have picked up from talking with other people is that on other websites users feel a certain amount of pressure to come up with something witty to say, or they’re restricted with the size of their updates,” says Liebert.
"Every day stringsof.me asks users a question which provokes thought. They don’t just drop in and leave – they linger, expand of their answers and can share them with others.
The result is some really well thought out answers to questions that are really beautiful and creative, without people feeling like they have to try and be someone they’re not.”
Liebert says people using the website are already hooked on the concept. Users can engage with each other if they want to, keep to themselves, and even remain entirely anonymous if they choose. Plus, it’s a great way to keep a diary without it becoming a time-consuming chore.
"Guiding people through their diary by taking a snapshot of their thoughts and attitudes saves them a lot of time, and takes away the problem of people not knowing what to say, especially if they’ve had a fairly uneventful day,” says Liebert.
To get started, visit www.stringsof.me

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