Is That Odd — which launched in January and bills itself as a “talk show 2.0″ — crosses social networking with something akin to Savage Love or Dear Abby. Users are invited to pose questions, or “oddstracts,” on pretty much any topic, in order to elicit constructive feedback from the site community. For almost all site interaction, users are rewarded with “odd coins” — 100 for joining, 300 for posting a question, 50 for reading one, another 50 for answering. The coins can be traded in for various free beauty product samples from the site’s “sample shop.” (The products come through SIRCLE, which pairs brands and samples with social media sites.)
In terms of the content it invites, Is That Odd has had a pretty big reach. The questions posted fall into categories ranging from style advice to pets to current events to just straight-up rants. One woman posted a question about the government’s new breast cancer screening recommendations, while another asked for advice on kicking adult acne, and a third sought advice on balancing medical school with motherhood.
While the site wants users to share their stories and come up with their own polls, a basic “is that odd?” poll will be attached to each question by default if the asker doesn’t create her own. Whether a query qualifies as “odd” or not seems to be based on a general sense of how weird it is. The 20-year-old’s acne issue was judged “not odd,” whereas the breast cancer screening confusion drew split ratings between yes, no, and “I don’t know.”
The overall purpose of a site like this remains mysterious — what is it trying to be? A women’s message board? A platform for market research? The revenue model is also unclear – the site is run by a privately-owned company, but not much information is out there concerning its purpose and goals.