While PostSecret provides us with vicarious and often poignant peeks into actions people choose to divulge, Sidetaker takes private disagreements public. One aggrieved party posts her or his side, then offers their lover the chance to respond. Providing just a few details in defending oneself can lead to recognition, at least among friends, family and others. Summer fling? Tightwad? This is akin to setting the stage for fights on tawdry reality shows. Watch people at their worst. Few can take their eyes off an “overheard” lovers’ quarrel. Like gossip, people acting their worst attract an audience. It’s unlikely that Sidetaker will bring couples closer but it will attract a crowd.
The crowd gets to vote on who is right. This may not be what James Surowiecki had in mind in The Wisdom of the Crowds – or the advocates of crowdsourcing want to see as a success story. As Deborah Tannen suggested in The Argument Culture, traditional TV, radio and other setting are trending towards offering two opposing “experts” as a black or white way to see a situation. What next?