Are you a bit tired of Facebook these days? Do you miss seeing posts from all of your friends instead of the 2% FB thinks is relevant to you? I sure do.
Today's social media world is much too targeted and too focused on commerce at all costs. Big data gives up information about our wants and needs and today's sites are morphing themselves around what they think you need. Facebook on the other hand was built as a way to keep up with your friends. Do you feel like it's serving you? Wouldn't you like an alternative? Google+ was a possibility but Google blinked. And there have been other attempts to offer a Facebook alternative. And that's really what we need.
What would it look like if we could design a personal social media site where the sole purpose was to help you keep up with all your friend's activities and shares?
Here are some terms we ought to define at the outset of this discussion.
A LIKE is free. It shows the content creators on Facebook that you appreciate their post, or sympathize with their troubles, depending on the post.
A SHARE is love. You are adding value to their efforts by sharing their words, ideas, images with friends.
SILENCE is called lurking. It’s creepy.
A HIDE is showing the content creators that you don’t like what they shared. It shows up on their analytics. And if you really don’t like them Facebook allows you to unlike a brand’s content forever.
UNFRIENDING is cutting the superficial ties that appear to indicate friendship but don’t. (High School friends you hated in High School. Old bandmates or workmates that you also really didn’t like. If you’re not happy to see pictures of their kids or pets or dinner, you might just consider unfriending them. You’re going to see a lot of their kids, pets, and current events.
BLOCKING. You are dead to me. You cannot see anything I’m posting about. And if I’m married and you’re still “friends” with my wife, it will appear to you as if she’s not married. It means I hate you and hate everything about you. (Usually triggered by political rants or some personal slight that the offended individual cannot get their shit together about.)
POSTING. Means you have ideas, you have dreams, you have thoughts you’d like to share with the world, or your friends. 10% of Facebook users create 90% of Facebook’s non-branded content. The rest is advertising.
FACEBOOK MARKETING. The dumb way to spend marketing dollars in social media. Rather than building an audience and producing meaningful content that people want to read and share, you post “HERE’S OUR LATEST WIDGET AT 50% OFF, TODAY ONLY” and you pay extra to have it shown around. Usually to FANS of your page and their “friends.” The idea being, if you are a McDonald’s fan, chances are you hang out, or a “friends” with others who like McDonald’s.
#HASHTAGS on Facebook. Um, no. #hashtagssuckonfacebook. They were created on Twitter, and can provide a handy marketing tool for event promoters or TV-show watch promotions. The SuperBowl, for example, has become the high point of social media marketing, on TWITTER. Not on Facebook.
With this let's now define the things we want to include in our new UBERBOOK network.
News feed: Not filtered by advertising algorhytms. Not loaded with ads. Not suppressing any of your friend's comments and shares.
Messaging: No apps or ads in our messenger-like, chat-like program. No games either.
Groups: This is the secret power of Facebook that most users have no idea about. A group can be public or private and is a great place to carry on conversations with multiple people at once. Let's have groups on our site as well. Let's refine the interface a bit and make things easier to digest. Infact, let's create a digest feature, much like newsgroups have.
Events: Keeping up with where you want to go for entertainment. And also seeing where your friends are going so you can surprise them with a meetup.
Finding and Friending:
- You might know this person, she has 13 mutual friends.
- Better search functions.
What we're missing today on Facebook, the only game in town, is conversations. And the ability to really stay in-touch. And the right to see all of your friend's posts without having to go and find their specific profile.
Please, let me know what killer features our new social media platform must contain and why in the comments.