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blippyJust when you thought that you were already bordering on the edge of exhibitionism/voyeurism as you read and post real time Facebook status updates and Tweets on all manner of personal topics you can now watch a steady real time stream of your friends credit card purchases and broadcast to the world your credit card transactions at the same time. Sound slightly crazy? Blippy.com is hoping that you are interested enough in becoming a financial exhibitionist that you will give their service a try (or at least enough of a financial voyeur that you will sign up to view others credit card transactions).

Blippy’s Beta Launch

The Blippy service is currently in an invitation only beta but there is an email submit box on http://blippy.com/beta where you can request an invite to try out the Blippy service.

What’s More Personal than What Someone Spends Their Money On?

One could certainly make the case that Blippy is raising the social web to a whole new level in some respects because after all what is more personal than what someone spends their money on?

Will “Money Talk” Remain Taboo?

Many people have traditionally thought of “money talk” as a taboo subject. Sure, it’s OK to talk about generalities like 401k’s, and college savings plans, and clipping coupons for the grocery store but to show others the specific dollars and cents for real transactions is certainly considered a faux paus by many.

Even many of the most ultra transparent personal finance bloggers who don’t bat an eye at posting their net worth for the world to see on their blog might be taken aback if every single one of their purchases were posted in real time on the Internet (with the exception of Baker from ManvsDebt.com who already posts his family’s finances online for the world to see) although this level of transparency could be a smart “take action” strategy for those bloggers like Ramit Sethi who preach the benefits of not just learning personal finance tips but actually putting those tips into action via the “I Will Teach You To Be Rich Boot Camp”.

(On a side note: I wonder how many of those personal finance bloggers would be embarrassed by what their real spending habits reveal. Would the black and white dollars and cents of their spending habits match up to the personal finance philosophy that they preach on their blogs?)

Blippy’s Safeguards

The co-founder of Blippy, Philip Kaplan, certainly realizes that there are some credit card transactions that even the most financially exhibitionist among us would prefer to keep under wraps. Kaplan recommends making one credit card a dedicated public “Blippy” card and reserving a separate credit card as a private credit card that is not tied to the Blippy broadcasting service.

The Potential for Only Pretending to be “Financially Transparent”

While this is a smart safeguard against any privacy concerns by Blippy users it is very easy to see how this feature could be manipulated by users who only want to use their public “Blippy” credit card for purchases that will show themselves in a favorable light.

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A Whole New Level of Financial Conversation

Imagine being able to not only view the things that your friends/followers/readers/connections are purchasing in real time but then to also be able to start a conversation about those purchases:

  • “Wow, you only pay $61.23 a month for your Verizon phone bill? How did you get such a good deal?”
  • “I see that you finally made it over to that new Greek restaurant last night – what did you think? Was it worth the $34.73?”
  • “You just spent $632.35 at Stubhub. What are those tickets for?” (This one is an actual exchange on Blippy between Philip Kaplan AKA “Pud” and some other Blippy users)

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What do YOU think of Blippy?

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5 Responses to “Blippy.com Wants You to Show the World Your Credit Card Transactions”

  1. John says:

    This service looks like a really cool way for finding all sorts of useful information. It’s almost like Twitter, but with real time financial data instead of status updates. I like the idea, but for me I don’t think I’m quite comfortable with sharing all that information.

    • Joel says:

      I agree. I could see how it would definitely be interesting to use when looking at other people’s data and it would certainly be very interesting when looking at the data in the aggregate to try and gauge trends (i.e. it could be used to try and predict the effectiveness of a given marketing campaign very early on or to see how many people are buying tickets for a certain movie on opening night and then extrapolate the numbers out to make inferences about the population as a whole , etc.) however I couldn’t see myself ever signing up for it to share my purchases as there are too many privacy concerns (i.e. I don’t any good from someone broadcasting that they just made a large dollar amount purchase at Amazon and will be receiving the package soon etc). That being said they could entice a good number of people to use the service if they allow some kind of revenue share with affiliate links embedded into transactions.

  2. I think it’s a cool idea, but from an angel investment point of view, it’s iffy. Sharing income and spending is TABOO in America, that is why there’s so much confusion about what other people earn and how people can afford so and so.

    Spending and people’s assets is one big illusion!

    Joel, getting some supports from my post in the comments section. Nice! lol

    • Joel says:

      My thoughts exactly. This is a classic example of what looks to be a really cool idea but when it comes right down to it if you ask yourself “But would I really use this?” then for me at least I would never allow my credit card transactions to be viewed publicly because of the potential for abuse (“Ahh, Joel just spent $200 at Amazon and so maybe I will just swing by his front porch…” lol)

      If the proper safeguards could be put in place though then this does have an outside chance of taking off because I can certainly see the appeal in monetizing the aggregate data.

      BTW I am loving your post that you submitted as an entry into the 2009 Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest! (Now, the question is did you pay people to vote for you… haha JK you did a great job with that post!)

      • Hey Joel! Yeah, whoever seeded this idea might have to kiss their investment goodbye.

        Good question on paying people to vote! I just asked a question, cuz as you know, you didn’t set up a vote process. Good thing, cuz how am I supposed to compete against others like JD, or Trent, or Jim for example, if they got 10,000-70,000 subscribers come out of the wood work and vote for them?! lol.

        Your way, at least alows anybody and everybody to enter. Thanks again!

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