Innovation That Matters

Enlisting the crowds to resolve marital disputes

Work & Lifestyle

In even the best of relationships, disagreements are bound to arise from time to time. For those with no clear resolution, a new site offers a way for each member of a couple to tell their side of the story anonymously and let the crowds decide who’s to blame. Launched earlier this month, Pittsburgh-based SideTaker begins the dispute-resolution process when one member of a couple submits their side of the argument on the site. A link is then e-mailed to that person’s significant other, inviting them to add their own side. Only when that happens does the story go live on SideTaker for the perusal and ruling of the visiting crowds. In one of the most popular stories currently on the site, for example, a woman describes a husband whose self-proclaimed frugality prevents him from flushing the toilet regularly; in another, a man describes a girlfriend who’s gaining weight but refuses to exercise. Users of the site can vote on which side they agree with or leave comments to express their opinions. Using the ad-supported site is currently free, and visitors can search stories by recency, popularity and number of comments, as well as a variety of tags. Stories remain up on the site for two months, or until both sides indicate that the conflict has been resolved. Coming soon on SideTaker is a section for relationship help, featuring expert advice, and ultimately the company hopes to expand its concept into other areas as well, according to its site. We’ve already covered, which facilitates personal image appraisals–where else could consumers benefit from the wisdom of the crowds in their personal and social lives….? Spotted by: Judy Ko



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