This user-based website/community was conceived by a young man in South Africa who probably had good intentions -- the next Facebook, perhaps? Give kids a space to ask each other questions anonymously, and good things will follow. But first of all, the site design is anything but anonymous: It asks you to find friends by posting your Qlink (like a Twitter handle) to other social media sites and displays your full name and location unless you actively change it. Despite innocent questions such as "What animal would you be?" and "Do you like Nutella?", some kids are answering questions such as "Where do you live?" and "What school do you go to?" Bottom line: Every single post includes user information by default with only the option to ask anonymously. Forget privacy; finding anyone to chat with is really hard. An extremely broad search for Qooh.me users ("John, California") brought up about 16 users total and hardly any current activity. Registration claims you will get a chance to find people you like, but the only information to go on is a name, possibly a location and profile photo, and, really, responses to questions. Finding threads isn't that hard with a mix of nasty and nice, but answers to the ever-popular "Who do you like?" show pretty clearly that most of these kids actually already know each other or at least go to the same school.
In concept Qooh.me is interesting, but to succeed users would need to be actually anonymous (no Qlink or other social media links!) and maybe even matched up randomly rather than self-selected. A personality profile and a menu of questions might help guide the conversation in a positive way. The question of the day apparently from the site itself shows the need to make a better effort at shaping a positive spin: "If you could delete one thing from this earth, what could it be?" got a response of "my ex." Most of the negative questions and answers seem to stem from the combination of kids already knowing each other at least vaguely and being given the illusion of potential anonymity. Thankfully, it's possible to lock your inbox and disable your account, which a great deal of original users have likely already done -- if not because of hateful trash-talking and prying personal questions, then for the lack of actual functionality. With polish and attention, Qooh.me could become a useful site, but right now, it's privacy and blatant content flaws ruin the user experience.