Kevutu: What Do You Want?

The Buddha said that life is full of suffering, that suffering is caused by desire, and if you eliminate desire you eliminate suffering. The way to eliminate suffering is by learning how to let go of desire and attachment and, eventually, after many lifetimes of discipline and meditation, the soul attains enlightenment.

Most of us, including myself, instead choose to live in that never-ending cycle of desire and wanting: we want, we seek, we get. Or, more often than not: we want, we can’t have, we cope. It’s practically the human race’s mantra: What do you want? We ask this of ourselves nearly every waking moment. Other people ask us this question as well. And now, a Canadian-based Web 2.0 site dubbed Kevutu ( wants to ask you, too.


Like many social networking sites, Kevutu begins by prompting users to answer a seemingly simple inquiry. Kevutu (French for “What do you want?”) is free, well-designed, and boasts a friendly and intuitive interface. After a quick sign-up, members can peruse other peoples’ Wants, add a photo and information to their profile, and begin cataloging and sharing Wants of their own.

When creating a Want, you can add pictures of the object, person, or idea of your desire, assign it a category, a priority (low, medium, or high), and a deadline. Do you know what it takes to get what you want? If so, you can post the steps you’re going to take to get it and then check them off as you accomplish them. Finally got what you wanted or, alternately, have you come to grips with reality? The conclusion tab lets you tell everyone you’ve “acquired it” or “cancel it”.

The real heart of Kevutu is the community built around people who want the same thing. You can search for people in your own area or perhaps find a kindred spirit on the other side of the globe. You can add other users as friends or simply adopt their Wants as your own. You can share your Wants with as many or as few people as you’d like by toggling your Want’s visibility between Public, Friends, and Private. People can comment on your wants, offer advise on how to attain your goals

Will Kevutu lead to like-minded individuals teaming up to finally attain world peace? Probably not. Wants tend to be more whimsical (a pony, the ability to fly, a pony that flies) or materialistic (an iPhone, to drive a Hummer), than altruistically motivated. But this can change as more users begin expanding the community. Like all social networkingsites, future users will ultimately find the niche that Kevutu is best suited for.

Kevutu User

I should note that I felt some pressure when I made my initial post. After you type in the title of your Want, you’re taken to a page that says “You’ve got 5 minutes to change the title of this want.”And then the countdown begins. Suddenly, doubt set in. Is it a true desire or just a passing fancy? Should I be more serious? What will people think of me? In my opinion, the timer is a bit superfluous. If you change your mind, you can always delete your Want and make another.

A feature that I think would be handy to have would be the ability to moderate the comments that other users leave on your Wants. Sometimes people don’t want to help you attain your goals. Sometimes they want to mock you mercilessly and anonymously over the internet instead. I know, it’s shocking.

There’s one presentation quirk that threw me for a minor loop. As mentioned, the Want status can be updated to canceled or acquired. The Wants page lists a series of wants and their current status. The status is displayed directly to the the right of the user name. So on the page it reads, “User name canceled one month ago.” It appears the user has canceled their account, as opposed to the want being canceled. Minor adjustments to layout, font, and color could make it apparent that the Want has been canceled, as opposed to the user account.

I like a website that cuts to the heart of human nature and Kevutu does just that. As human beings, we’re defined by our desires: they are what shape us, give us hope, and provide something to cling to in our darkest hours. The nice thing about Kevutu is that it not only is a place for me to keep a list of goals, but it also enables me to find like-minded individuals with which to share them. Whether it’s a desire for a new bass guitar, peace on earth, or a winged steed.

Kevutu has rescinded its site from the internet. Now it wanders the lonely desert in search of inner enlightenment.

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