In the era of SoLoMo, social networks have obviously been flourishing, and the space is becoming crowded. The crowd and the noise is also giving way to niche social networks and platforms being developed, concentrating not on the number of users, like Path or Cofounderly, but on a certain vertical.
WriterBabu is one such platform, that revolves around writing, as you’d have made out from the name. It is a social network for like-minded people who want to write as a hobby, or just for fun. Writing is perhaps the easiest way to express oneself, and WriterBabu is a philosophy of true and free expression of an innate writer. The platform attempts to ensure this freedom for the writer and an unbiased mindset for the readers. Writing is a form of happiness and happiness is real only if shared.
The network provides three levels of sharing for posts: public, friends, and anonymous. Anonymous posts are public too, but without your name. Apart from this, it has a designated Diary section, and diary posts can be open, shared with friends, or private.
Other unique features of the platform are an author poll, where authors can get unbiased remarks from readers, even if posts are anonymous, and a Thought Gallery, where one can find many abstract and philosophical images and they can write their interpretations and see what others have written about the same. You also have a scoring mechanism that in an indicator of user activity.
The concept and code behind WriterBabu is written by Srijan Srivastava, a 2011 IITD graduate. He has previously worked at Zomato and is currently also the technical head at BigBite, featured recently on Pluggd.in.
Anonymity is an important and relevant feature. One can write anonymously, and keep it to themselves, or share it with the world on WriterBabu. There are three reasons for why one might want to do so: one, to explore their creative side, secondly, to detach one’s identity (public image) from their writings for an unbiased reading, and third, to be heard and for the need for acceptance. Srijan says:
Writing is mostly about creativity and the biggest obstacle in the way of creativity is self doubt. One would like to share their creativity anonymously and would like to see what response they get. They will let their imaginations fly as their is no fear of failing their name. Its like no one is seeing you, but just your creativity. Its like putting your painting in an exhibition, and waiting for public reaction and when lots of people like it, come shouting “I made it, I made it”.
Writing like no one’s watching of course lets you write better. Another aspect is that people tend to get biased when they know the author of a piece of prose/verse. Going anon can help the author being identified with their style of writing, and that, if happens, is really satisfying for an author–to be known by his writing and not by his name.
Writing on WriterBabu is different than blogging because the forum supports and encourages writing, and discussions with like-minded people about your style of writing, creativity, and ways to improve upon them, rather than comments on the topic. Throw in the post-wise anonymity aspect and you have a different experience altogether. Though a blogging space similar to blogspot is already in the works but will not be independent of the main site and will be inaccessible without login.
While you can always use Facebook Notes if you want to write something and share socially, WriterBabu is a dedicated place for such notes, sans the tons of noise on Facebook, so you can focus on just writing.
The moniker WriterBabu is carried over from a folder name on Srijan’s computer that he used to house his poems and stories. It was hidden deep within some software folders, so that no one finds them and if someone does, he could crack some joke about it, that it was not any serious stuff. “I considered myself pathetic in writing skills. (That I still am). The name is for a purpose. It sets an informal tone and sends a clear message that this is not a serious place and you can write anything and will not be judged for flaws and mistakes. A place to relax and enjoy.”
WriterBabu has one of the best minimalistic designs I’ve seen in recent times in Indian startups. Almost monochromatic, with a sudden hint of color at some areas to be highlighted, makes the UX very intuitive and pleasing. The minimalism also helps in not getting distracted and concentrate on the core feature of the portal–writing. A little inconvenience I had was in navigating among pages. Improving navigability is probably the only thing that needs to be worked upon.
Srijan expects to generate revenue from this model by targeting writers who are interested in online book publishing and professional writers who are interested in special services. He goes on to add that Writerbabu can be an ideal platform for user engagement and creative content creation for corporate brands which are interested in engaging with their customers directly at a very different level. The platform can also be tuned and used to write crowdsourced stories and books, as the trend has already been setting in.
Most people want to write, but do not write. WriterBabu can definitely help them in this regard. So what do you think? If you’ve been waiting to start, or resume writing, give WriterBabu a shot, and unleash the writer within, and write some comments here about your experiences.
Keep writing…writing is fun.