Blippy puts a social spin on your shopping habits


by Jennifer Cabala

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 3 at 12:47 PM

SEATTLE -- How would you like all your Internet friends to see where you shop, what you buy and how much you pay? A new online service does just that - and users say sharing so much is a good thing.

Micheal Foley is living a public life.

"My default is to be transparent," he said.

He signed up for social media service, broadcasting his Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and checking accounts.

"Most people tell me it's crazy," said Foley. "People think I have my password and my account information out there for just anyone to steal and that's just not the case."

Blippy broadcasts what you bought, where you bought it and how much you paid, but you can turn it off.

"If you go out shopping you can choose to pause your publishing," said Foley.

So why do it at all? Foley says it creates conversation starting points with new friends.

"They might see I watched a certain movie or downloaded a certain iPhone app and we have background as soon as we meet," said Foley.

"To call it a slippery slope I think we've started sliding," said digital media expert Kathy Gill.

Gill says more people, especially those under 30, are sharing their lives online, and with public records now on the internet our privacy has become an illusion.

"You go to a party and someone takes your picture and posts it on Facebook," said Gill. "You just got exposed."

Foley says by making his private life public, he meets more people and feels safer too.

"If you have all of your information online and everybody is watching, people can look out for you.  It's not just you always looking out for yourself," said Foley.

Foley said Blippy has changed his spending habits.  He finds himself looking to buy cooler stuff and go to trendier places.

Still most Blippy users buy pretty mundane things. The top shopping spots are iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Starbucks, McDonalds and gas stations.