They want to know from Fisher ’06: What is Wander?
Alyson Shontell of Business Insider tries to describe Wander, the “stealth startup” by Jeremy Fisher ’06 and partner that’s snagged $1.2 million in startup capital.
Shontell calls the startup “stealth” because outside of Fisher and his team, no one’s sure what the site is or will offer, and Fisher isn’t telling, except to say that Wander will reflect users’ zeal for finding and sharing information about where they are and where they want to go.
Never mind, really, because Wander’s sly, near-parody of a signup campaign last spring created great buzz. The campaign urged potential users to “sign up now and reserve your username before someone else does. And they will. Bastards.”
It’s pretty typical for apps or other online ventures to lure users by offering bonus points for various actions like social-medial sharing. But it’s less typical for the points to have absolutely no purpose, as is the case with Wander’s campaign. Don’t let that stop you from tracking your pointless points on the “Utterly Pointless Leaderboard.”
As Adrianne Jeffries at BetaBeat asked her readers, “Is Wander, unencumbered by a product, the perfect brand? Or just evidence that we’re all sheep?”
More to the point, there’s cool artwork on the startup’s blog that does help paint the emotional picture of where Wander’s heading. On the blog, there’s an array of graphic cards created by 50 illustrators who were asked to “imagine a postcard from everywhere and nowhere at once.”
In startup-speak, Fisher tells Business Insider that Wander will offer a way to “see the world through others’ eyes. It’s the intersection of location and curation” (“curation” expressing users’ insatiable desire to find, organize and share online content, and “location” meaning doing all this while on the go.
TechCrunch suggests that Wander might combine elements of Tumblr and Pinterest with Yelp, Tripadvisor and Foursquare.
The colorful lexicon of the social media startup world recently caught the attention of The New York Times.
Reporter Jenna Wortham interviewed Fisher for a column about how the goal of any social media startup is to get consumers to use brand-derived words and phrases (Twitter being the most obvious and successful example).
Categories: Alumni and friends, Bates People in the News, Media and marketing, Society and culture.