Yet another private discussions platform with anonymity in mind

Discussions page of collAnon

If it wasn't obvious, I'm talking about collAnon, a discussions platform behind a Progressive Web App(PWA) which I've been working on in the past 2-3 years in the free time.

The original idea wasn't even mine, I took inspiration from an already similar platform called Balloon(r) which does focus mostly on B2B, so I thought I'm gonna go with something for everybody with a reasonable free plan too.

From a basic functional POV it does resemble the good old forums or Reddit or other discussion places with a main topic and the chance to answer or comment, looking something like this:

=> Topic's body
==> Answers
===> Comments

What's the focus in this platform comes from the following points further discussed below:

  • The discussions are private, so there's no public online exposure*
  • There's an end date
  • There's a voting system based on up to 3 likes per answer
  • Before the end date every participant is anonymous
  • After the end date no further contribution can be made and the best answers and their writers are on spot

The discussions are private

Mostly, because you can easily share a discussion through an invitation code or link and the preview of the discussion shows the title & body of the discussion and, if choosen, the first anonymous answer, so attention should be payed in this regard.

But other than this it's as private as it gets(also there's no user IDs exposure), plus, if you want/need, you can password protect the discussion!

This last option comes in handy also when the invitation happens to spread to unwanted invitees and in such case, as the maker of the discussion, you can setup/change the password first(asap) and save and after that opening the discussion for editing you can proceed with the cleanup of unwanted usernames that joined the discussion(but this will not cleanup their answers/comments, those will remain to prevent abusive mechanisms because of this possibility).

There's an end date

This is a way to sooner or later have a confrontation point and figure out the best answers/solutions/ideas/feedbacks/sentiments through the votes.

There's a voting system based on up to 3 likes per answer

It's my own experiment to have a way to tell how much an answers is agreeable for a person, in 3 levels: 1 like for the minimum acceptable, 2 likes for good enough(but not the best still or there's no better) and 3 likes for the best, which are all personal opinion but should still account for a better understanding from which degree of likeness does the agreement comes from.

Before the end date every participant is anonymous

Both for the maker and for the participants, this is for having a discussion that doesn't rely on who's who in primis(like with biases between participants once they know who they're answering to) and tries to have a more genuine discussion where the focus is on the actual contribution(which could be and idea, feedback, solution, etc.) instead of who made it.

After the end date no further contributions can be made and the best answers and their writers are on spot

And that's the epilogue of the discussion where the answers are ordered by the amount of total likes(plus other statistics) and the writer's usernames are visible.
Plus you can download and backup the discussion/s when needed and also import them back(local import only).

What's next?

I want to expand this idea into the public space with enough meaningful restrictions to make it so that it does not become a spammy place and only for the users that can successfully authenticate through their government login flows(but retaining their anonymity because collAnon is not about keeping records on someone but to just have the user ID as a proof and enabler to such public place).

On another side this platform is continuing to improve and if I wasn’t as clear about it or did leave some doubt feel free to leave the feedback here, from which  you can also register with a lifetime premium account ;)