Social media was supposed to help us connect, but as anyone with a smartphone and Twitter can tell you, it's largely screaming out into the clouds. Unless you're talking about Game of Thrones or some other trending topic, most of what you say or recommend isn't going to be heard by the people you want to hear it. Everyone has a voice, but no one is heard.
The MotorMouth is a social media app that works by literally sharing your voice, allowing users to leave geolocated voice messages for other travelers who may pass by. When users activate the app nearby where you left your message, they'll see a pin on their local map indicating where you left it.
The developer urges people to use the app as a vocal version of Yelp, recommending landmarks to visit or restaurants others should try out. In my hometown of Atlanta, I found notes from one user urging me to visit both the Andrew Young School of Policy Solutions and Magic City, an infamous strip club. That's sort of the charm of The MotorMouth. Since submissions aren't curated, you end up with sort of an unedited Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You might just find out about a cool new dive bar, or someone could tell you about their odd cult. Welcome to adventure!
It's easy enough to block users who provide information you don't want to hear, making for a optimizable experience. The search function allows you to specify how far away you'd like to find messages, from within a half mile to all the way around the world. It makes it easy to cutting through the noise when you're trying to find specifics.
The only downside is the app's currently small user base, meaning if you're casting only a local net you'll probably run out of stuff to listen to very quickly. Of course, that can be easily fixed if everyone who reads this article picks up the app and leaves some messages. You don't even have to leave recommendations -- I don't.
For example, this week I'm going to be driving from Atlanta, GA to Omaha, NB for a comedy festival. On my way I'll be leaving notes all around the country that have nothing to do with the businesses I pass by. They may be jokes, brief songs, or if I get really desperate, maybe a review of where I eat lunch, but my goal is less information sharing then pure fun. The idea of The MotorMouth excites me as a traveler; as I'm driving around bored out of my mind I may be able to discover a hidden message that I'd otherwise miss if I hadn't been literally in the right place at the right time.
There are tweets you miss because you weren't checking your feed at the right time. I like knowing that as long as The MotorMouth is viable, anyone who checks in at a roadside dinosaur world attraction will get to hear me try to recreate every dinosaur noise I can think of. As useful as the app is, The MotorMouth is equally delightful for finding odd treasures as you travel, like the woman I discovered in a nearby state who only sings clips of gospel songs.
If you're a traveler, I can't recommend The MotorMouth enough as a way to pass the time and share information. It's been interesting to learn what the people in my home town who use the app find important about Atlanta, and I can't wait to try it out in new cities around the country. I plan on trying it out at every dinosaur-themed attraction I pass by on my travels.
You find The MotorMouth for free right now in the iTunes Store. Leaving and listening to messages is free, but you do need to register an account before they'll let you post. Join the odd audio scavenger hunt.