Aug 4 2010
Keeping up with the Joneses. It’s been going on since the dawn of time. People look over the fence and see their neighbor’s new car or new set of golf clubs. Then the guy up the street pulls down the road, driving real slow, making sure everyone sees his Mastercraft X25. It’s just human nature to check out what other people own. And then there’s the things we used to own, long ago. Fond memories were formed playing Yahztee. Or perhaps you’re a collector Harry Potter paraphernalia.
For better or worse, much of our lives revolve around stuff. Fortunately, we live in a society that makes it easy to purchase items, or sell them. With the advent of Amazon and Ebay, and a million different variations of each, there are many options to purchase items online. These outlets are customized to help you find what you’re looking for and proceed with the purchase. There’s a whole layer missing with these options though. They only connect buyers and sellers. But that’s not how stuff works. When Eric Patterson drove his brand new Ford Mustang to school in High School, everyone knew about it, right? When Sally Kimble is the first of her friends to get a Coach purse it’s the talk of the town. People like her, they hate her, all because someone got a new doodad. Now, finally and at last, there’s a place to list and label everything you own. Or you can even list things you would like to own, or used to own but don’t anymore. It’s called Kumbooka. A place where you can “Socialise your stuff.”
Kumbooka is a site where you can collect all your stuff online. It’s for those who would like to show off a bit, or find new items to purchase as well. All you do is search for the item, or enter its barcode; then you can add it to your collection. I remember being a kid, and everything I owned was of utmost importance to me. Getting presents was such a joy. Nowadays, the inner child in all of us, would come to Kumbooka, enter their things, and let the world know what they have. The fun just begins there though. Kumbooka provides an interface to list items that are on your wishlist, or that you used to own and might like again. When you get enough money, there’s a link directly to the Amazon page where you can purchase it.
Kumbooka has a lot of features. It allows you to comment on items, make new friends, send messages back and forth. Really, it has the makings of a Facebook or Twitter, with your belongings being the central connection. The site’s still in ongoing development, but eventually you’ll be able to trade and sell various items with each other. So if I put something on my wish list, I’ll be presented with a series of people who own that item. From there we can swap, sell, or lend our belongings. It’s like a cross between a department store, flea market, and slumber party all at once.
The only feedback I’ll pass on to Kumbooka is to stick to their main service offering. That is, the reason people come to Kumbooka is to catalogue their stuff and see what other people have. From there they’ll share comments, and sometimes stuff. Currently there are some features, like videos, pics, or Twitter integration. These may draw away from the core features that make the site what it is.
Kumbooka is scratching the surface of an untapped social network- one in which we all live in real life. People love checking out each others’ things. They do so for envy and for enjoyment. It’s no fun coming home with that new car unless your neighbor drops by to oodle over it a bit. A boat is a lonely hunk of fiberglass without the company of friends to come and enjoy. Stuff, in a lot of ways, helps define who we are, and helps connect us together. With Kumbooka, you can now enjoy the give and take, the buying and selling, and just showing off, of your stuff.