World of Grim: iWish with Social Network integration

“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.” – David Ogilvy

What do you want for your birthday? Tough question. 

First I have to remember what I want. I've spent an entire year wanting various things. Right now, I may want a new vacuum cleaner or "Your Highness" on DVD/Blue Ray. Back in January I wanted tickets to "Black Swan." In May I wanted a new pair of swim trunks. So of all the various things I want and have wanted, I have to remember on the spot to answer your question.

Then I have to filter that recall by which of those things I want to receive as gifts. Do I really want a gift-wrapped vacuum cleaner? Then what's left on the list needs to be filtered by the price range I think you'd be willing to spend on a gift for me. There goes the possible answer of 'awesome 32-inch TV that can hook to my computer to double as a monitor for gaming.' So if I'm lucky all that brain-filtering results in a thing or two that I can answer your question with. If not, you'll get the good ole "I don't know," or "you don't have to get my anything." Both of which are of no help to you.

This year, I have a straight answer though, in the form of Vice-To-Nice Day. While it might make the world a better place if everyone opted to celebrate their birthdays that way, it's not exactly feasible. Some people aren't altruistic at all, some really like receiving gifts, and believe-it-or-not some people actually enjoy giving gifts and seeing your face light up when you unwrap them. That's why, in the World of Grim, there's iWish.

iWish is a handy website where virtually every product has it's own page. So, a couple of weeks ago when I decided that I wanted my own copy of Rock Band 3 for the Wii but wasn't ready to buy it for myself, I would log on to iWish and tag it for my wishlist. While I was there I might also go to the product page for the Whirlpool Duet Dryer I'd like to match my washing machine. Essentially any time I was struck by a desire for something with no intention of purchasing it yet, I'd log in to iWish and add it. 

When my tax return, lottery win, or Christmas bonus comes in, I can pop over to iWish and be reminded of all the things I've ever wanted when I decide to spend that extra money. Saves me the trouble of blowing that money on a money-in-my-pocket spontaneous desire to visit the Chicken Ranch or something and the guilt I'd feel when I got home to no new dryer.

Should I get something iWish for, or just decide I no longer want it I can simply log back in and pull my wish for it. If I got it though, I can mark it as something I have with the options to rate it and/or review it. The ratings and reviews would show on the product page, with the now-standard feature of users being able to rate the reviews as useful or not with the highest rated reviews floating to the top.

For many reasons, you can't actually purchase things at iWish. For one, people like to decide where they shop. Despite the great convenience that would come from being able to purchase through iWish, that restraint allows an objectivity to the site, and that builds trust between the site and the users. Additionally they don't have to worry about the added expense and headache of being a retailer and the logistic concerns that come with it. They can remain concerned with their site and their service, and the ads on the side of each product page can be sold to retailers who sell those products. 

Social Network integration
The best part about iWish though is the social network integration. You can tie your iWish account into Facebook, Google+, and probably the other ones I don't know about. When you view a product page you can choose to see all ratings and reviews, or just those from within your various social networks - and even your friends lists or circles within those networks. You can see all ratings and reviews, those from all your circles/friends, or just ratings and reviews from your 'ole high school buddies' friend list/circle.

As an added feature, if you use the iWish app for Facebook or Google+, your people can see what it is you want for your birthday. If they buy something for you from that list, they can mark it as bought - but you won't see that, only the other friends you share access to the app will. So if you buy me Rock Band 3 and mark it, I won't know someone bought it for me, but the rest of my friends will know not to buy me another copy I would end up having to take back.

Additional Rambling
I'm not sure why this only exists in the World of Grim, but if there is already a real-world version they certainly aren't the best at publicity.


World of Grim: Google+

You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?" - George Bernard Shaw

Slightly different than Mr. Shaw, I'm not particularly concerned about the "Why not?" Seems to me that's just asking for excuses. Instead, posts prefaced with "World of Grim:" will be articles from the standpoint of how things would be if I was in charge of how things were.

For my first installment, I'll be exploring some possibilities of how much cooler Google+ could be.

Google+ Profile
My main grievance is with the current lack of product integration. Some great opportunities for it are regulated to the "Links" area in the "About" section of your profile.

As you can see in this image, both of my blogs and my twitter account can be accessed by links when you view my profile. Virtually all blogs have RSS (Real Simple Syndication) options that allow you to have all the blogs you like to read delivered to one convenient reading location. Google has a product called Google Reader for this very purpose.

In the World of Grim, Google Reader would be integrated into Google+ by adding a Blogs profile tab in the navigation bar. When editing my profile under that tab, I'd be able to choose whether the RSS feed from all of the blogs associated with my Google+ account displayed under that tab. You'd be able to view my profile and see RSS feeds from those I chose to share with people viewing my Google+ profile, and I'd have the option whether to share those feeds publicly or only with certain circles. It would probably look something like this: