August 12, 2013
Tengrade is aiming to be the one review site to rule them all – the place to go to find out what the world thinks about anything. To rate something, you just add two or three little characters to your tweets and Facebook posts:
“Stuck in #traffic outside of LA *0”
“Meeting some great people at #TechCocktail SF! *9”
The *0 or *9 is a rating from 0-10, and Tengrade is constantly monitoring social media for those ratings. If you log onto the Tengrade site, you can check out the average rating for any topic – from #Bieber to #Obama. On top of that, you can drill down and see what your friends think of a topic or what people like you – other men or other 30-somethings, for example – have to say.
“When I go to Yelp . . . and look at the reviews, I think, ‘Well, that’s written by the owner, clearly, and that one’s written by their marketing agency, and that one’s written by the ex-boyfriend of the chef, and that one’s written by an absolutely crazy person,’” says cofounder and CEO Ted Werth. “You look through trying to find anything that’s relevant to you, and that’s what we’re trying to cut through the clutter of.”
Werth wants to give social media goers more options than a simple like or retweet. Tengrade is the “dislike” button everyone’s been clamoring for, and more: with “sort of like,” “really like, “love,” and “meh” thrown in there, too. And it’s super short – good for Twitter and our attention spans.
But changing the way we communicate on social media is an ambitious goal. Werth believes that the ease of use – just adding a few characters to your posts – works in their favor. It all really comes down to what happens when your friends see a weird tweet with a *4 tagged onto the end – do they ignore it? Or try to investigate and start using it themselves?
“It’s an education process,” admits Werth. For example, ratings don’t work well for meme-type hashtags, like #Imsinglebecause – because what would you be rating, exactly?
If it works, though, Tengrade will have a valuable swarm of information that brands, marketers, researchers, and politicians might pay for. They’ll also have a snapshot of the world’s mood, which they display in a special visualization. If the world is feeling positive and giving high ratings, it looks like a tornado; if the world is focusing on the bad stuff, it looks like a volcano.
To sum up: I like the data collection potential of #Tengrade, but part of me laments the miniaturization of thoughtful reviews into just a number. *8
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