Hot Off StartupBus SF: Anonymous Location-Based Chat Comes to Life with ghostPOST

March 7, 2013

12:08 am

Remember StartupBus – the “invitation-only community of hackers, hustlers, and hipsters” who build projects en route to Austin for SXSWi?  There’s already a bit of buzz coming from the Silicon Valley carrier, courtesy of ghostPOST, an anonymous, location-based group chat.

Users create rooms based upon a location or event, and then post anonymously with randomized 8-bit avatars.  The result is essentially a Galaga-themed chat room where activity is controlled entirely by word-of-mouth.

ghostpost pic

The team features Jonathan Kresner, a member of last year’s StartupBus winner, Cerealize, as well as the co-founders at Late Labs, Justin Johnson and Blake Benthall.

I caught up with Justin Johnson to learn a bit more about ghostPost.

Tech Cocktail: What lead to the idea?

Justin Johnson:  We wanted a place to chat without worrying about our online brands. When we started designing it on sunday, we spiraled down this tunnel of 8bit art that made us realize how fun it could be, so we went all in and built a super mobile-friendly web app that makes it easy to create fun chatrooms. We think it’s pretty awesome.

Tech Cocktail:  Ideally, how do you foresee people using this?

Johnson: We’d like to see people using it in any location where they’d otherwise not express their opinions publicly. That said, we’ve been toying with more game elements, so Ghost Post could very well turn into an activity in and of itself.

Tech Cocktail:  What updates should we expect on the product over the next few days? If any?

Johnson:  We’re going to push new avatars, upvoting, and more social elements for sure. You’ll have to tune in for everything else! is there anything else about this project we should know about?

Users should know they can create a room super easily in two ways. 1. Type whatever they want after — e.g. creates the PlayaHatersBall room 2. Use a hashtag in a chat — e.g. “lol #SuperAwkward” creates the SuperAwkward room.

Look for more to come from StartupBus, with final pitches coming on Friday.

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When Zach Davis isn't getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail's Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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