Tools for the Trade: Star.Me makes the thank you fun again
My mom raised me to always remember the importance of the thank you note. Whether it was a birthday, graduation, or Christmas, the events were always followed by thank you notes. Although the common thank you has evolved today, only someone as clever as internet humorist and creative, Ze Frank, could find a way to use technology to make thank-yous fun again. Frank did this with Star.Me.
Star.Me probably wouldn't describe itself as a thank you tool like I did, but in a way that's really what it is. In fact, the about text on the website states: "Star.Me lets you tell your friends how awesome they are. Giving and receiving stars will unlock new stars, new features, games and more." In short, Star.Me is a social network meets social game that you can only succeed in by helping others.
Star.Me is not the typical tool in your Tools for the Trade toolkit, but it will certainly keep you occupied at work and make your friends and colleagues feel a little better about themselves. Apparently others believed in the validity of Frank's project, too. As TechCrunch noted, Frank received $500,000 from Andreesen Horowitz, Betaworks, Lerer Ventures, Founder Collective, Gary Vaynerchuk and Ron Conway to focus on creating novel social games. Star.Me is definitely a novel, social game.
Screenshot of John T. Meyer's Star.Me, star.me/johntmeyer
This project is just another in the long line of creative endeavors from Ze Frank. Frank initially broke on the internet scene in 2001 with his "How to Dance Properly" website which allowed users to showcase his dance moves. On March 17, 2006, Frank launched "the show" and made short video blogs every day for a year. After a year of the show and true Internet fame, Frank went on to produce content for Time Magazine, speak at South by Southwest Interactive, and countless more appearances.
When you sign up for Star.Me you get a wall to display all your stars (for example, see my star wall above). Over time and by sending your friends stars you unlock more of your own. Currently there are over 60 different stars you can unlock; a few of my favorite include the Bromance star (which I sent to Silicon Prairie News' own Danny Schreiber), the Posse star for those who got your back, and the Mom Jeans star (haven't found the right mom to send this too yet).
Currently, Star.Me is in beta but if you are sent a star you get an invite, so leave a comment here with your Twitter handle or email and I'll send you your own star. Star.Me won't revolutionize your business, but it does effectively accomplish what Ze Frank said technology needs to do: "In an ever-changing technological landscape, where today’s platforms are not tomorrow’s platforms, the key seems to be that any one of these spaces can use a dose of humanity and art and culture." Star.Me is very human.