Vincent Ritter


A good social network

Some random thoughts on what would make a good social network.

A good social network should be about community/groups. A group should not be an “account” as such. A group should be separate with organisers, of real accounts, where everyone can come together. For example “Xcoders” should be a group of people together and not one account. In a sense, I feel, this would create better “online” communities in all with people responsible for the group in a whole… talking as a whole. Yes, I think it’s important to of course be able to set who is allowed to post on behalf of the group but everyone should be able to contribute.

Groups could be anything of course. “Plane Spotters Poland” or “Coffee nerds New York” or “Let’s fight for the planet and the future of humankind”.

Maybe something like MeetUp.

Groups/Communities should be easily discoverable in general where everyone can find what they’re into.

Groups should actively seek to do things in the real world and out of the digital. Digital being a medium of message but with real world change and human exchanges and experiences.

Maybe I’m stretching it a bit… hard to describe what I mean...

Can a good social network do away with usernames? I think it could, given thought. Contacts should me more like your address book. Make it invisible. No more “@“s. Bring back the human part like “Hey Vincent” and not “Hey @“. I’m not an @.

A thought about what makes a good social network is that the underlying company/corporation should always be a Public Benefit Corporation or similar for the public good. Not a normal organisation. I think this should be a law, set in stone, for any underlying social network.

There should be no exchange of VC funds for this sort of company. Donations are fine but no obligations of any sort of sponsorship.

Having shareholders and, suit and ties, to answer to is wrong. It leads to… well… what we actually have now.

I feel that you should be able to make a profit with it, but you shouldn’t have your values destroyed because now you need to lick someone’s brown bottom and please the overlords. No thanks. I think people/unicorns/corporations are blinded by this fact.

Be yourself, not someone you think you should be or what others want you to be (although let your users decide).

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good social network… I had a blog post ready, but decided against it. It’s a hard problem. I’ll try and share some thoughts of it in little snippets of posts, like this, over the course of a few weeks.