This is a course blog for the classes on digital government and social media in the public sector" class taught by Professor Ines Mergel at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. The blog posts include comments and ideas from MPA, MAIR and EMPA students studying the use of new technologies in the public sector.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Riding Yik Yak
Riding Yik Yak
of Yik Yak
When the two fraternity brothers of
the Furman University, Tyler Droll & Brooks Buffington, decided to launch Yik
Yak in 2013, they wanted to create a “local and anonymous Twitter”. Twitter has been a kind of sensation due to its easy
usage and instant massaging since 2006, its launch. The users of Twitter can
follow their friends, families or celebrities and peep their lives and easily
interact with them wherever they are. But what Tyler and Brooks focused on was
somewhat more simple and regional. They used GPS technology to track down the
location of the users. So a location-based, anonymous social media app came
into the world. Users didn’t need to either create account or insert their private
information besides the phone number which is the only requirement to get access
to the world of Yik Yak. Without knowing who created the yak, the users could
create and peek within a 1.5 mile radius of circle. It is just like you are in
a herd of Yaks, listening to their mooing. But you don’t know where the mooing
is coming from.
as a Platform for Government or Non-profit Organization
Is Yik Yak
a good platform for government or non-profit organization? My answer is no. First
of all, the main users are students. From the beginning, the main targets were
college or university students. The app is used at almost 1,000 schools in US.
Although it differs from where you use Yik Yak, the main herds are centered in
college or university. Second, the information that you can post or collect
from Yik Yak is quite limited. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, you can only post by
texting. Also the platform does not allow the users to search the yak by
keyword. Third, it is not necessary to mention that you may not know who is
posting even though the public or public-related institution is using Yik Yak due
to its anonymity.
However, if you want to know what people
near you care about and are interested in, there is nothing easier than to peek
in your Yik Yak. So if you want to have fun or to seek trivial information, ride
your yak. But be careful not to lose yourself in a herd. Yik Yak still has a
long way to go.