Thoughter
 
 
 
 
 
What Is This?
The first project out of Aytwit's software research labs. Sometimes you want to ask someone a question or tell them a secret and you suspect or hope they're thinking the same thing, but it's uncomfortable to bring up. This is why Thoughter was created. For example let's say it's the holidays and a father and son had a fight a few years ago and haven't spoken since. The father pushes a thought to his son like "I miss you #reunite" that lasts one week. If the son pushes a thought to his father within that time containing the same hashtag then they will both receive an email containing the other's message. Otherwise nothing happens. To help his chances the father can have a hint sent to his son that someone wants to #reunite but it won't say who. It's like the ego-saving technique in high school where a guy asks his friend to ask a girl if her friend likes him, but using internet crypto magic instead.
What Are Some More Examples?
  • You're romantically interested in someone from your class or office and think they might also be interested but you have cold feet, #wannaGoOut.
  • Two friends are really busy and don't want to disturb each other but want to know how the other person is doing, #justCheckingUp.
  • New couple is not sure if the other person wants to take it to the next level, #1stBase, #2ndBase, #3rdBase, #4thBase (as appropriate).
  • Longtime couple, both people want to break up but don't want to hurt the other person, #breakup.
  • Married couple with communication problems, both want to get intimate after a long drought but not sure if the other wants to, #letsGetItOn.
  • Married couple trying to stick to a new diet and support each other, but both want to pig out tonight, #screwTheDiet.
  • You have a dream about somebody, want to see if they had a dream about you too, #dreamBuddies.
  • Various other telepathic experiments, #whateverTheyMayBe.
  • Bunch of coworkers want to see if everyone else thinks the new boss is a jerk, #mutiny (when Thoughter supports multiple parties).
  • Estranged family members want to reconnect over the holidays, #reunite (as mentioned above).
  • Two people want to compare potentially embarrassing interests like bucket list items, or values, or sexual preferences, or, #wellLetsLeaveItAtThat.
  • Couple on their first date at a restaurant they both don't like but not sure if the other person feels the same way, #wannaLeave. Explore this last case in more detail here.
Okay But Are You Spying On Me?
No! In the #reunite example, the father's data will be deleted after one week (or on thought match), and encrypted the entire time so that only the father and son, nobody else, not even Thoughter itself, can decrypt it. Everything is private and anonymous to an utterly paranoid degree, with no creepy tracking or ad integration of any kind. The basic idea is to ask humbly for donations and use the money to ensure your privacy, even from the service itself, instead of selling your data to the highest bidder and pretending that the service is free. Radical idea, and maybe the world's not ready for it. But more on all this boring privacy stuff here.
How Do Hints Work?
When a Patron A pushes a thought to another Patron B, Patron A can have Thoughter send a hint to Patron B without revealing the whole thought or who it's from. This helps solve the adoption problem that Thoughter would otherwise have. That is, Patron B might not even know that Thoughter exists in the first place, in which case Patron A's thought would obviously never get matched. If the service becomes popular then hints will become less necessary. Here are the following hint types:

  • None - easy one, no hint is sent. You must rely either on real-life hints ("Hey did you hear about this Thoughter thing?"), or that the other person knows about Thoughter already.
  • Anonymous - The other person is told that someone is thinking something about them, but not who or what.
  • Hashtag-Specific - The other person is given the exact hashtag you used in your thought. They just have to guess who sent it.
  • Who It's From - The other person is told that you specifically are thinking something about them. They just have to guess which hashtag you used.