Founder: Sean Kim, CEO
Launched: July 31, 2013
In the early days of social media, sites such as Netscape, Digg and Newsvine allowed users to submit content and then discuss it with the community. While Netscape faded into oblivion, MSNBC acquired Newsvine and was essentially integrated into the comments section. This kind of social-bookmarking functionality has practically gone away. Digg is still a great place to find news, but the content is largely editor curated.
Enter Opineer.com, a social networking site for startups and entrepreneurs to share ideas and gather feedback. According to Founder and CEO Sean Kim, startup entereprneurs are always looking for advice on how to run their businesses. Unfortunately, Kim says, it’s hard to catch up with people in person and the online communities leave much to be desired by way of activity.
“The problem here is the extra effort required in reading and writing comments,” says Kim. “Such added work in participating in discussions leads to less participation.”
To solve this problem Kim and two other Carnegie Mellon University Alumni teamed up to develop a poll-based system, which Kim says facilitates user engagement. With a click of a button, users can respond quickly and the responses are quantitative. The demographics system turns voter information into useful data for making business decisions.
If you’re like me, you’ve seen similar networks overrun by spam and trolls as they gained popularity. While Opineer is essential user moderated, users can also connect other social networking profiles, which Kim says creates a level of accountability and quality control.
“Assuming most people won’t create fake [social networking] accounts,” he says, “we believe people make more credible and responsible contributions to a community with their real identities.”