Pass the Baton

If you like talking about sports, music, or politics, Baton could be a match made in heaven.

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Baton could be the next big thing in the world of apps. Photoshop by Jacob Geiser '16

Everyone knows about Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine. However, most people forget that there are other apps. Not nearly as popular, but still great apps. Anybody remember the one hit wonder Yo? You had to create an account and you could send a “Yo” to someone. That was it, not much to the app. It was a big thing for about two weeks. Then it died off. How was that an app? Yikes. There are some that are good and some that are bad. Well, there is going to be a new app hitting the app store soon called Baton.

You may be wondering, what is Baton? Well, Baton is an iPhone app where questions and opinions can be posted with text, but the responses are videos. The videos are 20 seconds long. It is a place where anyone can take part in interactive discussions about anything from sports, music, and school to tech and politics.

The founder of the app is Chris Davis. He partnered with his co-founder Brian Endo. Chris reached out to asking me if I wanted to test out the app. Chris said he was was a fan of my previous work on SB Nation’s Down the Drive, a blog for Cincinnati Bearcats fans. Knowing he has seen my previous work, and being a fan, it made the decision to test out the app much easier.

“I had been playing daily fantasy sports (DFS) during the football season. We spent a lot of time researching players, looking at statistics, and predicting games. There was plenty of data, information and analysis to explore. But, inevitably, we’d always ask our friends for their opinions on players and matchups. Why? Because even once you crunch all the numbers, and review all the relevant news, we needed to challenge our assumptions. And the only way to do that, was to see what other people thought. Which players were we underestimating? Where were our strategic blind-spots,” said Davis.

He told me that is when the ball got rolling.

“We started thinking about how to make an entertaining and interactive way to get opinions, while also making the format easy to consume. That’s how we figured that video would be a great medium, because you can take it quickly on the fly, without having to edit yourself (unlike with writing, where editing and revision are commonplace).”

The app is very easy to use. I have been lucky enough to test this app out first hand. It is easy because it doesn’t take a long time to edit. If you don’t like your video, you just delete it and try again. It can also help journalists, or politicians get their opinions out in a quicker fashion, teaching you to be straight and to the point.

Davis says the goal of the app is very simple.

“(It’s for) the democratization of public thinking. But a simpler way to think about Baton is as a platform for people to voice opinions and ideas, and more importantly, to be heard by their peers,” said Davis.

Davis told me when you go to Twitter, you can voice your opinion but you don’t know who is listening. You spend so much time amassing a “fan base”. Davis wants to change that norm.

“Ideas are paramount – where or who they come from, are not. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you have great ideas. Just because you’re not doesn’t mean you lack great ideas.”

When will Baton hit the app store? Well, your guess is as good as the co-founders’.

“I can’t give an exact date because we don’t know. That’s because we have to work out the bugs, but also because we want to test this idea really well, before releasing it into the public.”

He told me wants one question to be answered; Will this app matter to people?

“If we can prove that to ourselves, we’ll happily launch it,” said Davis.

He told me that even though he doesn’t have an exact date, he does hope to have it on the app store by April.

Pullquote Photo

Baton is as a platform for people to voice opinions and ideas, and more importantly, to be heard by their peers.””

— Chris Davis

If you like what you are hearing or seeing, you can try it out at batonapp.io and Chris or Brian will send an invitation your way.

When I asked him what he could say to people to get them to download Baton, he said that it is just a place to voice your opinion and ideas. But it is also a place to discover new ideas.

“You can find random discussion, and intense discussion – it just depends on what interests you,” said Davis.

Personally, if you like talking about sports, music or politics, I would join. I have tried it out and I love the idea and the app. Aside from a few problems on day one, it ended up working out perfectly. The app has the potential to be really successful. At least I think so. Give it a try, who knows. You may end up enjoying it like I did.