Review: The State.com Experience

“Our opinions become fixed at the point where we stop thinking.” -Ernest Renan.

Meet State.com: a social-networking site that connects people through their opinions. After Wall-posting, colourfully-edited-picture-sharing, especially them cupcakes, hashtags and character limits, an opinion-based social network might just be the next big catch!

After all, connecting people through opinions rather than geography/acquaintances has the potential of uniting us through proximity of thought; while hopefully not creating much of a false consensus effect.

I’ve messed around the site for about a week, voicing 90 opinions on a range of Categories such as TV Shows, Books and Publications, Travel and Lifestyle, Politics and more, on topics that may be as broad as “Reading” to “Ed Sheeran”, “Sharing food-related pictures on Instagram”, “Voting” and even “People who constantly say ‘you know'”. By urging people to ‘State’ their opinions on a range of existent/self-created topics/URLs, State.com succeeds in teasing even the stereotypically passive internet user out of their shell!

The State.com Experience in a Nutshell

Interface: The interface is all kinds of sexy. A gorgeous, glitzy red dominates the State.com design. The buttons to STATE or Respond or select a maximum of three words that match your opinion on said topic (a pretty cool way of creating uniform parameters to match our opinions/agreement with others) are satisfyingly chunky.

Accessibility: While it took me a day to find my way around the site, and figure out which was where and for what, once I did, accessibility to various features was effortless.

The only exception: attempting to create a new topic in the midst of responding to an opinion; where the navigation could be a little less slippery.

As for accessing content itself, it’s easy and seamless: quickened by the process of “Tuning In” (State.com’s equivalent of “follow”) to a category, subcategory or person.

Features: It’s quite a rush; responding to diverse range of topics with your specific and sometimes-biased opinion. You can also give someone else’s well-stated opinion a “Well-said” (State.com’s equivalent of Facebook’s “Like”); a feature which thankfully encourages articulation over blind popularity as a means to this end.

The Sharing options: to your twitter/Facebook feed or by asking State contacts what they think are expected and might do well to help the site grow.

Other features include Top Word Groups, Sentiment Range, Trending Topics and Meet…: all of which tell you where your opinion stands in terms of general populace. They also help connect you to people with similar/compatible opinions. These features do much to enhance the awesomeness of the Interface; giving you the feel of being a part of an evolving schema.

State.com Features

State.com opinions

What makes State.com work?

Well, more than anything it’s the rapidity and diversity that characterises the State experience. While it allows longer posts, the bare minimum involves Stating your opinion using 1-3 words from a drop-down; with auto-suggestions that help when you’re stuck on finding the right word. That’s pretty quick, right? Also, it connects you to people from all over, through a mix of topics that do much to pique intellectual, not just superficial interests. With a lot of superficiality in the social media, why not take on a medium that demands nothing but your honest and simplified opinion?

State.com

Disagreement and debates, are of course, inevitable and even healthy here. Because after all, isn’t that the point? To state your opinion? A mere flurry of like-minded talk would’ve scared me, to be honest. Reinforcing a single line of thought does not do much to broaden one’s stance!

Speaking of simple and rapid, the site is tailored to be used on-the-go for iOS users, with the State App for iPhone/iPad. I do hope an Android version is also in the making. That would definitely increase the usability of the site for me!

FINAL THOUGHTS: I stand by my initial[ly stated] impression of this 2014-launched England-based social networking site that builds on opinion-networks:

Opinion on State.com

This review of State.com has been posted as a part of the Blogadda Reviews Program

Deathcabforcutielove.

On a Death Cab for Cutie rebinge.

Why do they have to be so heartbreakingly poignant?

Or plain poignant. “But I know your heart belongs to someone you’ve yet to meet.”

I remember listening to Plans on my way to school. And sneaking peeks of the DCFC Transatlanticism poster in The OC

“And I held you closer than anyone would ever guess.”

“But these wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy alone who turned your way and saw something he was not looking for; both a beginning and an end.”

#anticlimacticnonsense

What if

You aren’t my crush?

What if you’re just

Validation?

A product of reciprocity

“I’m obsessed with you

Because you care a tiny bit about me.”

Or better yet, White Noise

To bury myself in

Because the silence, it was deafening.

What if, you’re little more than Preoccupation

Because right now,

I need something

To fill the void

Or better yet, a mindless adrenaline rush

Vague, heady, romanticized

Because you dared to get closer

When the lights turned orange.

What if, you’re just a Filler

A forgettable note

Clogging the empty pages

In between chapters

Or worse, some creepy Idealisation

Of what you actually are.

What if you’re nothing like the you

That lives in my head

And eats my thoughts?

What if your sole function

Is making me feel Wanted?

To fill gaps in conversation,

To have something to do.

What if you aren’t my crush?

Sidelines

A sharp, glassy view

With a soundtrack to die for

I can see everything from here,

My hands poised on the rails-

My voice reluctantly trailing away…

But you can’t see me, no.

Your eyes are trained

To seek the center stage.

But this is where I stand-

Away from the curveballs,

The fights, the gravel,

Away from the scathing commentator-

The torment of heckles, backlashes

From rash, rabid rivals.

This is where I stand-

Safe and sound

There, but never around.

Because I’m too cautious,

Too scared, too weak to be a part of the game

But too invested to stay away.

This is who I am-

A silent, frenzied spectator.

Blogadda Contest Entry: #Matched

An experience of IPL craze told in third-person narrative to fit with my Boy/Girl series; for the Star Sports IPL 2014 BlogAdda Activity:

 

Saturday night was date night and the very thought of it gave Boy the jitters. It was the night of the most exciting IPL match yet and he absolutely- abso-freaking-lutely had to watch this in front of his wide-screen home TV. But what would Girl think? He couldn’t possibly give cricket as an excuse for cancelling on her!

“You boys and your cricket,” she might say, with that disdainful frown.

Worse, if he made it to dinner, he would somehow offend her when he subtly checked StarSports.com for live updates mid-conversation. Their live-streaming feature and simultaneous access to recaps was addictive. Whywhywhywhy did the match have to fall on the same day? He should’ve figured this out earlier and cancelled much beforehand.

“Say you’re sick,” Friend A said, having absolutely no confusion on the issue. “It’s The Match, man.”

“I’ll text you updates, da.” another said, appearing to be benevolent. “For fifty bucks.”

What if, by cancelling on her because of the IPL match, she launched into a tirade against Men and Their Ways? The last thing he wanted to do was perpetuate stereotypes. Could he have an emergency? Could his parents whisk him away to some far off place? But lies never remained hidden. Augh!

Finally, seeing no way out, Boy dialed her number, every digit making him wince:

“Hello?” she said.

“Hey, uh,” he paused, feeling extremely awkward. “Are we still going out for dinner? Saturday night?” He hoped against hope that something would’ve come up on her end.

“Yeah!” she said a bit too quickly, and brightly- making him feel extremely guilty. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Why wouldn’t we be going?”

“Um,” he said, feeling worse. Deep breath. Slow-motion-stills of stumps flying in the air filled his head. “Um, the thing is-”

“Yeah?” she said. “Sorry, I mean… go on!”

“It’s… the match… the match is tomorrow and…”

“You want to postpone?”

“Yeah,” he said. Postpone. Yess. Postpone sounded much better than cancel.

“Thankgod!” she breathed, finally sounding relaxed. “I didn’t want to miss the match either! I’m so glad you didn’t feel like you could miss it too! I need to watch every play at home. In front of my TV, you know?”

There was warmth in their laughter. Thank god for the mutual-IPL-craze. They were going to be a good match, indeed!

This post is a part of Cricket just got better! Activity by starsports.com in association with BlogAdda.com.

Blogadda Contest Entry: #IPLTales

This is a story of extreme cricket craziness, an Android App, a city of fans, the TV set that went from Idiot Box to Most Prized Possession overnight and some mad bicycling skills!

IPLTalez #KannaKeepKalm

The evening of a Pepsi IPL match -Chennai Super Kings versus Mumbai Indians-, a bunch of us were lounging at the beach. The pseudo witty banter had reached its peak and the match was in the corner of all of our minds. I was watching replays of the earlier matches on Star Sports.com’s Android App on my pretty yellow phone. I loved how they made important plays easily viewable and accessible. They made for neat recaps. I was also completely dependent on their live-streaming feature. CSK had it in the bag, didn’t they? History would repeat, surely?

I had placed bets with my Royal-Challengers-supporting cousins on CSK. They wanted Mumbai Indians to win so badly.

If we lost, I had to buy myself a pair of new, non-orange shoes. I wasn’t ready to give up on my vice of wearing the oldest, ugliest pair of shoes so easily.

And then, before the clock struck eight, the unthinkable happened—

I swore out loud, breaking up the mundane conversation on who should get back together with whom. My phone had lost charge! How could I have forgotten to charge it?

“Stupid,” I said out loud, provoking shrieks of laughter and insults from my friends. “Phone? Anyone?”

But no one had recharged their data pack. I was the one who usually gave all the cricket updates. Now, they would miss out on a chunk of the match too. It was 7:40PM. I couldn’t just sit there! I decided to cycle all the way back home. More bets on whether I would reach on time were placed. I was becoming the source of entertainment.

8:07PM: I was still in transit. Traffic jams! Eurgh!

“What’s the score?” I yelled near the bend of the road leading to my house, in sheer frustration.

A man peering into his phone poked his head out of the auto and gave me the much-needed-update! My mother was flabbergasted to see me drenched in sweat when I reached home but I raced past her to the already-switched-on-TV-set. Star Sports was blaring and the commentator’s voice felt like music to my ears.

I knelt in front of the TV, a wide grin plastering my face and my heartbeat quickened with every ball! Everything –EVERYTHING- that had led to that moment was completely and totally worth it; just to watch the game, the people who played it and the people who loved it as much as I did on one wide screen!

(And spoiler alert: My “ugly” orange shoes remained unreplaced!)

This post is a part of Cricket just got better! Activity by starsports.com in association with BlogAdda.com.