A new service called Blippy let’s users share their credit card purchases on Twitter. Each time a person makes a purchase with the cards they register with Blippy (a type of “social card”) and it tweets the cardholder name, purchase amount and merchant name.
One of my colleagues saw this and said, “I know I remain firmly rooted in the cynics camp, but… I really do not need, want or care to know that my “friends”, “fans” or any other acquaintance have just bought.”
I have to agree that I’m not jumping up and down to be part of this beta test. However, what if a future version or iteration of it includes personalization capabilities?
I live in a small town of about 50,000 people. The merchants in town are trying to figure out how to get more locals to buy stuff from them rather than Amazon.com. What if as a local, I could sign up for a “social card” (e.g., connect whichever of my cards to this account as I wanted to) called “Support Local Merchants.” I could get rewards or special deals or something as I build up the amount I’ve spent with local merchants. Other friends who are interested could also sign up, and this service would let each other see when we bought coffee from Higher Grounds rather than Starbucks (note: I could chose not show the time I bought a Gingerbread latte at Starbucks, but show when I bought a cinnamon role at Higher Grounds).
Or…One of my friends runs a charity each year hto raise funds for meals on wheels for AIDS patients. As many in our circle of friends as possible goes out to local merchants for dinner on that night, and something like 15% of your meal goes towards this charity. My friend could set up a page that shows who went out for dinner that night, where they went, how much their bill was and how much money our circle of friends raised as a result.
I often don’t understand the fixation of society on the apparently inane activity of tracking every movement of acquaintances in real-time. But in this case, personalization could make all the difference.