Baloonr Puts a Unique Spin on Their New Social Media Platform

Business Profiles — By on February 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

Social media blunders make headlines almost daily. A certain amount of anxiety is involved with having your name attached to anything on a social media site, whether it’s positive or not, but what if you could anonymously post creative content without fear of it being attached to your name? That’s the concept behind developing social network, Baloonr.

“We think that there’s room for another huge platform,” says Baloonr Co-Founder & CEO, Amanda Greenberg. “We want everyone to be a Baloonr user.” The company is aiming big and wants to be the first place where people post online.

So how does it work? Baloonr will provide daily prompts around which users will anonymously create and post content. Baloonrs will respond to thoughts like ”The most beautiful thing I’ve seen today is…” or “If I had no fear I…” with photos or short text, but the company plans to eventually incorporate different types of media. Once content is submitted it becomes an official balloon visible to other users who can “pump it” if they like the content, or “pop it” if they don’t. If a balloon gets pumped up enough times, it will be visible on the main page where all visitors and users can share it through their various social media channels. At this time, a user can also choose to attach their name to the balloon.

“It’s curated, high-quality content that comes in from all over the place,” Greenberg says.

Baloonr wants to level the playing field for content. The goal is to reverse the 90 – 9 – 1 rule sometimes associated with social media. Ninety percent of users just view content, 9 percent occasionally post or edit, while 1 percent create most of the content. Instead Baloonr hopes 90 percent will be posting thanks to the reduced stress of  anonymity.

Greenberg also says, “The opportunity to go viral and grow is level.” On Baloonr it doesn’t matter how many friends or followers a person has, all content is launched in the same place.

Different facets of Greenberg’s personal experience led to the Baloonr concept. While studying public health in Washington, D.C., she saw the negative impacts of social media, like anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues. She was also concerned with having content linked to her name. She wanted the opportunity to express herself creatively without personal or professional ramifications.

Greenberg found others shared in her desire for an anonymous platform, including Co-Founder Noah Bornstein. With Bornstein’s technical expertise in tow, “We started at the experience side and built backwards,” Greenberg says.

From the start, Baloonr knew the feeling they wanted to produce and it shows in the name – light, airy, friendly and fun. That Baloonr feeling is blowing up.

“Everywhere we’ve gone to pitch there’s been a ton of excitement and a ton of interest,” Greenberg says.

Locally TechColumbus has taken an interest in the company. When the founders decided to relocate Baloonr from Pittsburgh to Columbus, they  completed TechColumbus’ TechEssentials program and became a client company in November 2013.

Now, Baloonr is ready for a beta launch. The network is still looking for individuals for phase one to start within the next few weeks. The company also has strategically planned phase launches at several colleges before opening the platform up to the public in May or June.

For more information or to join the beta launch, visit baloonr.com.

Susan Post Susan Post (211 Articles)

Susan is the lead staff writer for TheMetropreneur.com and also completes assignments as a freelace writer & editor. She loves writing about her city - and learning a thing or two from her clients along the way. Susan holds a degree in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing from The Ohio State University. You can find her exploring Grandivew, drinking way too much coffee, running, spending time with friends and aiming to become a Columbus foodie.


    2 Comments

  • The biggest problem faced by artists online isn’t people finding their work. That’s relatively easy (and different than going viral). It takes time and effort (and luck and skill) to build up an audience, but it’s easy enough to start finding like-minded people on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Deviant Art, etc. and build up and audience.

    The biggest problems artists have online are individuals, organizations, and businesses who ask/expect them to work for free (usually for the “exposure”), and websites that take the work they have posted elsewhere, strip away their attribution, and generate page views and/or advertising revenue with that now-unattributed work.

    Baloonr seems to be combining both of these models, proudly. There’s little reason for artists to be concerned with the number of people viewing their work if those views can’t be traced back to them. And, unless I am missing something, the only business model I can imagine for Baloonr relies on the traffic generated by the art the artists are posting for free.

    The only benefit I can see here for the artist is the protection from repercussions provided by anonymity, and perhaps a signal-boost for political statements, but those are both things that could be more easily achieved by a pseudonymous Twitter handle.

    As an artist, I am, frankly, incredibly offended by this concept. Unless I am misunderstanding the way Baloonr works (and I genuinely hope that I am), this is the most exploitative, anti-artist business model I have ever heard of. It makes early Marvel and D.C. Comics contracts look fair by comparison.

    • Thank you for your note, Talcott. I appreciate and respect your opinion. We completely agree that artists (and all people for that matter) should be credited and paid for their work.

      To help address your main contention, Baloonr DOES allow users to claim their content (i.e., “baloons”). If you want credit for what you create, your name will be attached to it, but only after it has been “pumped up” enough to be shown on the main page. The idea is to create a meritocracy – throughout our “review” stage, all baloons are given an equal opportunity to be pumped or popped, and their success is based on merit alone. It is not about how many followers you have or who you know.

      Not everyone has the confidence to openly share online. In fact, the majority of people don’t share online because of the fear of personal/professional ramifications. Baloonr is providing a new place for people to try out something, anything. Post a picture; say a few words. Whatever you want. Studies have highlighted that creativity can be learned when practiced. People have all types of professions; many of which restrict one’s freedom to engage on more social platforms, and many professions don’t allow people to tap into their creativity. Our intention is not to be an anonymous aggregator of art. And, it is not intended to be a portfolio. There are other, far more appropriate, platforms for that purpose. It is a supplemental and lightweight way for people to try things out (daily) and get a very basic review (a pump/pop percentage), without the worry of commenting and trolling.

      Of course, we see many value propositions for artists and others, but we hope this helps address some of your concerns.

      Feel free to email me with any additional questions at amanda at baloonr dot com. I’d love to talk with you more.

      -Amanda (Baloonr)

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