Banters Blog

Over the last 22 months, I’ve had the honor of working with some of the best people in the world to create a product we believed in and loved dearly. We’ve had a strong community and been proud of the relationships we’ve forged with many of our early users.

Unfortunately while our community has been incredibly passionate (and often hilarious), it hasn’t grown as much as we’d hoped. In light of this, on June 1st, we will no longer be actively working on Banters. We’re not outright closing the site down any time in the foreseeable future, but, for the sake of prudence, we’re encouraging our users to export their data here

As we take a step back and reflect on the last two years (and over 50,000 conversations), we’d like to thank our tireless mentors and investors: Chris Dixon and Founder Collective, David Lee and SV Angel, Shana Fisher and High Line Venture Partners, Samir Kaul and Khosla Ventures. They have been invaluable and unwavering in their support. We also want to thank our users for sharing glimpses into their lives and making us laugh each and every day.

But while this is certainly a bittersweet time, there is some good news.

Patrick and I have always believed in the importance of words: the way they can convey emotion, the way they let us look into the past (or the future), and the way they can spur further discussion.

It was this belief that led us to the Betaworks office. More specifically, to Findings

I’ve long been a fan of Findings, which offers a straightforward, intuitive way to share and discuss quotes from books and the web. Many of John Borthwick’s ideas on social reading and the future match with what I’ve been thinking while approaching Banters. Together we saw an opportunity that made sense for both Banters and Findings.

I am now the General Manager at Findings, and Patrick is joining the Betaworks family as Hacker-in-Residence. It’s never easy to stop working on an idea after having invested so much into it, but I’m thankful that we’ll have the opportunity to keep working on a product that closely aligns with the mission we set out with at Banters: to harness the timeless power of quotes and words, and share them in ways that have only recently been made possible by technology.

Thank you, we’re excited to keep creating for you.

Lauren

By the way, Findings is hiring a front-end developer. Email lauren [at] findings. We’re building something great.

Cameron Begged For an Interview So Here It Is

       

Cam is Lauren’s roommate and not particularly interesting but we decided to ask him questions anyways, to be nice, you know, because he’s special. We don’t care if you read this. 

1. What’s your favorite word?

Chagrin. As in, “Much to my chagrin, something something baseball.”

2. What’s more important in a good friendship; sarcasm or sympathy?

Whiskey. Or vodka. Or hugs. Man, tough question. Can I phone a friend? NEIL. NEIL. Hey. Neil. What’s your favorite: whiskey, vodka, or hugs? Uh huh. Yeah. That’s a good point.

Hugs.

3. Always have the last word or keep them guessing?

I like to keep people guessing what the hell I’m doing with my life. Same as me.

4. Bad publicity or no publicity?

This past weekend a friend took two videos of me stripping. I’m choose no publicity because it would all be bad.

5. The best way to make a crying person laugh?

Say, “Hey. It could be a lot worse. You could be the one listening to you cry.” Then, I don’t know, a card trick or something?

6. The best way to make a laughing person cry?

Punch them in the stomach. Tell them you have cancer. Bring up how everybody talks behind their back. Their body odor is so bad you puke. Christ. This question is a downer. You could just ask them this question and let their mind wander for a couple minutes.

7. The best pick-up line which hasn’t worked?

"Hey, my name is drink can I buy you a Cam—FUCK." Then walk away.

8. The worst pick-up line which has worked?

I don’t understand. They can work?

9. Most often used comeback?

"You’re not my supervisor!" Never relevant and always confusing.

10. Personal favorite Banters’ post?

         

Bianca Banters

      

How do we explain Bianca? On her Banters’ bio, she’s “a not so secret secret ninja posing as a stylist… astronaut” - but we like to sum her up as the rambunctious smaller half of the already petite PR duo Small Girls. Since there’s no one on Banters with more experience breaking hearts and partying until dawn, we saved her interview for a Friday so you know what to do this weekend.

1. What’s your favorite word?

favorite word of all of the words: phenolphthalein

favorite word I use daily: boys

favorite: boys

2. What’s more important in a good friendship; sarcasm or sympathy?

sympathetic sarcasm

3. Always have the last word or keep them guessing?

have the last word but say something really weird to confuse them and keep them guessing

4. Bad publicity or no publicity?

is no publicity a thing?

5. The best way to make a crying person laugh?

put on some music and dance

6. The best way to make a laughing person cry?

punch them in the face 

7. The best pick-up line which hasn’t worked?

i was told all pick up lines work.  in hindsight i think that may have been a pick up line being used on me.  in which case… it worked. so i guess that statement’s true. 

8. The worst pick-up line which has worked?

i love water!

also, can we talk about the BEST pick-up line which has worked: “i want to make out with your face” (now go use it on someone and report back to me)

9. Most often used comeback?

in my head: “i’ll cut you” 

in reality: “no YOU are” or “what?”

10. Personal Favorite Banters’ post?

       

Jimmy Jacobson Banters

     

Jimmy Jacobson: good guy, Zappos API Developer, and creator of the dead simple way to poll your friends Wedgies. He is a favorite of the staff on Banters and IRL. We chased him down to quiz him on life so we could share this knowledge with you, readers. Take note!

1. What’s your favorite word? 

Perfunctory

2. What’s more important in a good friendship; sarcasm or sympathy?

Sympathy. By understanding what makes someone tick you can hurt them way more than any off hand sarcastic comment.

3. Always have the last word or keep them guessing?

Getting the last word is no good if no one is listening.

4. Bad publicity or no publicity?

Bad publicity gives you a chance to tell your side of the story

5. The best way to make a crying person laugh?

Sarcasm

6. The best way to make a laughing person cry?

Honesty

7. The best pick-up line which hasn’t worked?

Are you sure you aren’t an escort? Because I would pay to take you out.

8. The worst pick-up line which has worked?

Hi

9. Most often used comeback?

"Nice one"

10. Personal favorite Banters post?

      

Banters with Kevin Seccia

Comedian and author of the hilarious guide to “beating up anything” Punching Tom HanksKevin Seccia has long been a Banters’ friend.

                                    

He gladly agreed to answer some of our questions on banters and Banters:

1. What’s your favorite word?

I guess I say “legit” a lot. Man, seeing it written out like that makes me want to seriously look at the choices I’ve been making in life and reassess some things. It looks way too 90s. Let’s just go with “quandary.”

2. What’s more important in a good friendship; sarcasm or sympathy?

Not sure, but DEFINITELY pick one and then refuse to budge no matter how much they beg you to. “Sorry, Brad, I was very clear about this, I’m your sarcasm guy. So if you’d like me to quip about how your shirt is dumb, fine, but I refuse to discuss your dad dying any further…Also, NICE apartment. Ever hear of a vacuum?!”

3. Always have the last word or keep them guessing?

Are these really comparable? Wouldn’t the alternative to getting the last word be THEM getting the last word? I guess if I could leave and be assured of a total absence of any sound, and I didn’t have to waste one of my well-crafted last words and they wouldn’t get to say anything, either, I’d choose to leave them guessing.

4. Bad publicity or no publicity?

This is a dumb question. “General, amorphous, out-of-context thing” or “Or other vague, meaningless platitude”? (Wait, can “platitude” be my favorite word? Is it too late?!)

5. The best way to make a crying person laugh?

Pretend to suddenly remember something that happened to you even worse than what they’re going through and then cry even harder than they they are. They might not laugh, technically, but they will have to focus on you for a bit. Remember, every single moment in life is a battle that you could lose.

6. The best way to make a laughing person cry?

Be Rick Santorum

7. The best pick-up line which hasn’t worked?

The time I said: “Pretty awesome Banters interview… if you have any follow up questions, how about you ‘follow’ me ‘up’ town… and over the bridge to… um, where my apartment is? No? Okay. You mind if I just hang here a bit? Okay, no, I should go anyway…”

8. The worst pick-up line which has worked?

"Hi. I’d like to open a savings account?" I said this to a woman in a bank. Then I opened a savings account. Haven’t gotten her number yet but I do go in there once a week to discuss banking… I guess this is sort of a long con thing? I still don’t know if she’s single. THESE THINGS TAKE TIME, OKAY. (Ms. Alvarez, if you’re reading this, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to that high yield money market account we discussed!)

9. Most often used comeback?

"No YOU stop following ME around the food court!" 

10. Personal favorite Banters post?

      

Banters with Micah

         

Micah Baldwin, founder of the rad comic site Graphicly, has long been a Banters’ favorite. His often grossoffensive, and sardonic humor can be a good distraction during any dragging afternoon. 

1. What’s your favorite word?

I have three.

"hello" - but only if it precedes "is it me you are looking for"

"droids" - but only if its included in the sentence "these are not the droids you are looking for"

"dangling participle" - but only used as a question "what are you using dangling participles for?"

Sorry, the last one is two words, and writer’s humor, so lets just go with motherfucker. 

2. What’s more important in a good friendship; sarcasm or sympathy?

Sarcasm if it’s family, sympathy if it’s a shrew.

3. Always have the last word or keep them guessing?

You done talking? Then, yes. 

4. Bad publicity or no publicity?

I was once ranked #2 on good for the word “douchebag.” Um, yeah. 

5. The best way to make a crying person laugh?

Kick a baby in the balls. If you have no baby, fart. If you have no balls, don’t joke about a baby. 

6. The best way to make a laughing person cry?

Kick them in the nuts, if you have no nuts, then joke about a baby. 

7. The best pick-up line which hasn’t worked?

I have your parents in my basement. Want to let them out? 

8. The worst pick-up line which has worked?

I swear, we are just friends. 

9. Most often used comeback?

I know you are, but what do you believe I might be, depending on how you view me in an existential manner. 

10. Personal favorite Banters post?

On Quotes and Banters

At Banters, we believe there’s something magical in conversations: rapports with friends reveal insights into your daily life, sense of humor, relationships. People have always saved letters and cards from loved ones, but now with digital conversations, Banters is your scrapbook for saving those quotes.

But it can be hard to write down conversations. The original iteration of Banters required launching the app or visiting the web page, opening up a new post, attributing someone, filling out the different message boxes with who said what, adding tags, then finally posting. You’d lose memory of the quote before you hit the first message box.

Fortunately, that’s all about to change. With our new design, the post creator has been simplified to make posting as natural as having the conversation. Making the process even swifter is the ability to use Siri to post: just hit the microphone button on your keyboard while creating a post and repeat the quote you want to save. It’s quick and easy.

If you look at the history of posting photographs online, you’ll notice an explosion of images that coincided with the rising popularity of digital cameras. People no longer had to go through the arduous task of scanning their photos to post them — they could simply upload straight to the web. We think Siri could have a similar effect when it comes to helping people remember and share their conversations.

This launch includes a bunch of other new features as well. You can now attribute however many people you want, and include as many lines of conversation as you’d like. We’ve added a “like” button and an activity stream. Posting a conversation is easy with our parse function: input it as you want and we’ll do the work. You can even text it in by hooking up your phone number here. And we have a beautiful new iPhone app and an update to the Android app.

Oh! And check out the Explore tab. General, love, wit, literature, inspiration, movies, tv, tech. The best way to get lost in Banters.

We’re excited. Check us out, quote your friends, have fun saving great moments.

The Bnter team had wordplay costumes for Halloween!
Grant - a chip on his shoulder, Lauren - rule of thumb, Becky - lone Ranger, Goggin - Cat in the Hat (kinda counts), Patrick - smashed pumpkin (check up on him tonight to see completion of the costume…)
Happy Halloween!

The Bnter team had wordplay costumes for Halloween!

Grant - a chip on his shoulder, Lauren - rule of thumb, Becky - lone Ranger, Goggin - Cat in the Hat (kinda counts), Patrick - smashed pumpkin (check up on him tonight to see completion of the costume…)

Happy Halloween!