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YouTell: Yet another way for friends to tell you what they think

October 17, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • YouTell, launched by a 13-year-old from Encino.
YouTell, launched by a 13-year-old from Encino. (YouTell )

The Internet has made it awfully easy to critique someone anonymously. But what if you wanted to have a real talk with a friend or a family member without the risk of severing the relationship?

A 13-year-old from Encino launched a website Wednesday that may allow you to do just that.

For better or for worse, YouTell.com lets friends, family and co-workers answer questions about anything -- your fashion sense, your most recent boyfriend, how you perform in the workplace.

“Want to know what your friends really think of you?” the site asks in a promotional video. “Sometimes, your friends aren’t comfortable telling you this face-to-face.”

A way to get answers, yes. But users, beware: Tough questions can have tough answers. Opening an account means opening yourself to the risk of unwanted and possibly harmful attacks.

YouTell follows a long line of ask-me-anything Internet forms (Formspring.me and Facebook’s Honesty Box come to mind) with cult followings among teenagers.

But unlike its predecessors, YouTell lets you know if the person critiquing you is an acquaintance, a co-worker or a family member. That way you can weigh their advice accordingly, even if they’re anonymous, the site said.

Users seek feedback using Facebook, Twitter or email. When someone logs in to answer a question, YouTell asks a verification question that, presumably, filters out all but your inner circle. For “friends” – a term used loosely, perhaps – it’s your last name.  For family, it’s your mother’s maiden name.  For co-workers, it’s your boss’ last name.

The site was the idea of 13-year-old Daniel Singer, who helped develop the site’ s features, create its online presence and design the layout.

“We know that it is hard to say what you really feel on Facebook or Twitter, because you might worry about the response,” Singer said in a statement. “With YouTell, there is finally a way online to get the truthful information and opinions that can actually make a difference and can help you improve various aspects of your life.”

The site also includes sections for shopping and politics. That section hasn’t taken off yet. “The debates really matter, don’t you agree?” one person asked. No response.

Then again, the site’s brand new.

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