What if I built a local social media platform for local people, how would that change the game?
Town Scale Social Media
What if you only wished to reach people only within your town?
Surely Facebook could do that? But…
You Are The Product
With the big platforms, like facebook, the users are the product. What I mean by this is, say you want the attention of your friends or customers about an event you are organisating. Will your announcement get to them?
Facebook, can help with this, so long as you press the ‘boost’ button and payup.
Strictly speaking, your personal data is not yours when you are a user on a platform and you have no rights over who you can communicate with. Even if the platform’s terms of service sets rules about personal data, how many high profile abuses have there been in recent years?
Remember, the platforms’ product is you and your attention is for sale. However, sometimes their product goes rotten and gives them a problem.
‘Wrong Think’ Courtesy of 1984
Your ideas might not travel so fast because big platforms use algorithms. Algorithms police ‘wrong think’ and inhibit ‘inappropriate’ ideas.
What If I Built a Social Media Platform ?
The benefits of a small scale social media platform are:
- With a smaller pool of people and with a smaller amount of content flying about, the content produced by the community would have gain attention and impact.
- Being an ‘advertisement free zone’ locks in the benefit of home-brewed content spreading and gaining attention.
- Users influence the culture and rules of the platform. Custom and convention maintain the social environment more than rules.
- Personal information requirements on joining minimised. The users have aliases, thereby making the data less valuable.
- Adults only – no Children. Users take responsibility for their actions.
How can this platform be built?
Stage 1. – Create a prototype using a sub-domain, buddypress and spare space hosting capacity. Design the site, and get friends to beta test it. Initially it would be desktop based rather than mobile based.
Stage 2. -Get a bespoke domain name and go public with the platform. See what interest there is and if viable go to stage 3.
Stage 3. – Get crowd funding for a mobile app for the site. Once the mobile app is available the platform should get more traction.
What Do You Think?
If I built a local social media platform for say your town, would you use it? Leave a comment below.
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