This continuation of alternatives to Facebook research marks my 50th post to Steemit, in itself an appropriate milestone as I, and millions of others, try to figure out the future of social media. Steemit rocks, though in way still too difficult to understand (or me being too lazy to figure out), because it rewards commitment and contribution with cryptocurrency - something I suspect Facebook will never do. But who knows?
As Community Builder at OurNet (http:///www.ournet.news), reward, along with re-humanisation and refinement are the three guiding stars I'm predicting for the imminent birth of Web3.0; where the content will be honoured, as will people, as well as the relationships between them. Ruthless exploitation of data, the lowest common denominators of communication, and the corporate race to the bottom are so beneath us. We can and should do better, if only to increase the bandwidth of bounty and raise the headroom of human happiness.
Onward then, as we consider the exponentially-increasing stack of contenders, who want to focus our attention away from the market-leading giants of online networking...
When I started out as a post-Cambridge Analytica era tourist, an innocent abroad, a few alternatives understandably popped their heads up above the parapet. As the days have turned into weeks, one newbie a day feels like it has turned into two platforms daily to consider, if I include reviewing some of the older platforms in a new light, as well as looking at the brand-new, new brands.
Facebook fatigue has refreshed the fortunes of marginalised and stale projects. Additionally, the scope of consideration should rightly extend to new, private and secure data/content sharing and storage ideas, as well as alternatives to EVERY monolithic, monopolistic and lazy social media offering (e.g. YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn).
Today's platforms are 'Opportunity' and 'Indorse', which are not going to get the in-depth analysis that I've used in my earlier single platform reviews. I may return to either, but I think it's going to be OK to give each a (fairly) quick once-over and a brief #moneymunsonverdict because, well, life's too short and new platforms are coming out of my virtual ears.
These two are in the 'professional network' genre and might light respective fires under the previously mentioned attention dominator LinkedIn.
Let's look at Opportunity first, which appears to be the result of a boozy encounter between LinkedIn and Plenty of Fish, a lovechild explained in their mercifully succinct promo video:
Interesting to note from the vid' that it has been in existence since 2014 and has already connected 85 million members in over 190 countries, creating 1 billion 'opportunities'! Who knew? Not me!
You'll also see below that they have equipped the Opportunity community with both iOS and Android apps.
Sign up at https://myopportunity.com/en/signup is very straightforward, you click on the boxes that define whether you want to have relationships in the networking, commercial sense or relations in the Bill Clinton sense. Be careful what you wish, and therefore click for!
I asked for networking connections (5 years, very happily married, as of tomorrow) and within a dozen or so profile-defining screens was launched into a very exciting and busy looking timeline environment. There are people there keen to crack on and do deals. Opportunity = tumbleweed-free zone!
Noticeable immediately was the 'PRO' status of others, which is presumably the up-sell from my level of quick-in, freemium membership. I soon discovered that accessing 5 leads REQUIRES an upgrade - a very business-like move in what looks and feels like a very business-like environment, on arrival.
The #moneymunsonverdict on this one, is that it's NOT for me, or your Gran (not that I'm looking to meet your Gran in a networking, or any, online environment as nice as I'm sure she is). Opportunity is leads and networking focused, and I can only assume the dating aspect of it is similarly business-like, intentional and efficient. It's probably a useful shake-up for LinkedIn, which strikes me as quite complacent and quiet.
It'll be for YOU (or your Gran) if you like to leave no business opportunity stone un-turned or unexplored.
The combination of business networking and dating is either a masterstroke (no pun intended) or a desperate attempt to awkwardly kill two human need-based birds with one online stone. Time will tell.
On Opportunity, there's no talk of decentralisation, blockchain or privacy/security in any overt way to win over Web3.0 futurists. This platform was made in the image of the contemporary business world. Again, not for me. No reward, refinement or re-humanisation agenda here, just straight up nose-to-the-grindstone, sleeves-rolled-up work ethic where the best man no doubt wins and #opensource is a free bar on a works jolly.
More musical to MY ears then are "reward-based, decentralised social network" Indorse, who I heard from today in an emailed message from CEO Gaurang Torvekar, perhaps prompted by the recent and seismic shifts in social media:
"I am writing this letter because it marks one year since we started working on the idea of Indorse," says Gaurang. "I remember being in Vienna last April, drawing the mocks for the Indorse Claims Validation Page, having calls with the dev team late at night, and spending my evenings writing the white paper. We have indeed come a long way!
I have been writing regular dev updates to tell the community about the development progress, but today I am going to take this chance to reiterate our vision, our message and what we stand for. Indorse has always been built on three pillars -
- Ownership of your data
- Monetization of your data
- Validation of data"
I'll interrupt there to point out that this obviously isn't for Grandma, and hand you back to the CEO...
"While we are on the verge of monetization of data, we have already launched the Company Validation Pages (CVP) and are working towards the ownership of data through the use of decentralized technologies like BigchainDB. We are also trying to propagate thought leadership in the community by working on topics like data privacy regulations and we will soon be coming up with a list of our initiatives in that regard.
Since I became the CEO of Indorse in January this year, my first and foremost priority has been to build a great product that users love. As a testament to that, we launched part of the Indorse platform on the Ethereummainnet in March and also started making revenue last week! This is an accomplishment which I am very proud of and which sets us apart from many other ICO projects.
The global ISO standards committee will meet again in May this year to take further efforts to come up with standards for blockchain technology globally. This is fantastic news as it sets the path for bringing blockchain technologies to the masses."
I include much of Mr Torvekar's text here, because he's talking the language of the future. He concludes:
"Your unwavering trust in Indorse has helped us build a company and a product that will surely provide a positive change in the society and make an indelible mark in the history of Blockchain and the decentralized economy."
That gives me a different kind of chill to the one Opportunity gives me: the chill of inspiration, rather than plain cold.
For more on Indorse's idea, approach and ethics, see this:
And see here - their screenshots - that address reward and refinement...
Here, the features...
#moneymunsonsverdict on Indorse is therefore a glowing endorsement (couldn't resist it). OK, comparing Opportunity to Indorse is very apples and oranges: fair play to Opportunity on their progress, and impressive numbers, but it just doesn't excite me. All power to Indorse, whose rubber is yet to really hit the road, but boy, do they talk a good talk.
See more of that talk in this, their whitepaper: https://indorse.io/static/media/Indorse-Whitepaper-v1.1.a733cc8e.pdf
Signing up is easy and can be done via existing networks. Once in, you'll get that slightly-sparse, 'beta-feeling', where the best is yet to come and bearing-with is the way forward, for now. I'll be bearing with Indorse and cheekily wonder if there will be a niche version for British wives called 'Her Indorse'. And for that, I apologise.
In conclusion, as I await greatness, I'll defer to Brian D. Evans, founder, angel investor, adviser and blockchain evangelist, who puts it so well in his Inc. article - "Blockchain Is Now Aiming to Disrupt Social Networks in a Major Way" (and back in August 2017, when Bitcoin was ONLY just over $4,000!)...
"Now that a company like Indorse is coming along (and many more will follow), it solves these issues [centralization/data ownership] and puts the power back in the hands of the people. This is literally a picture-perfect business and industry primed for disruption through blockchain technology and the set of principles the community stands for.
On top of solving all of these major issues in the social-networking space, it will force some of the big players to adapt or fail miserably. The beauty of platforms that utilize blockchain is that it forces change the same way Uber forced the taxi industry to change or fail. At first, they tried to squash it and make it sound like some weird sci-fi alternate reality that was decades away, but then when it actually happened, they had to react or become obsolete. "
Sign up with Indorse here: https://indorse.io/
I am on Indorse and Opportunity as - 'Carl Munson'
Please note: Features and opinions are subject to change. Reviews written in good faith and intent. Comments are welcome. Relevant adjustments and edits will be gladly made. Screenshots used for illustration purposes.
For links to my other #alt2fb reviews try this summary article: https://steemit.com/alt2fb/@carlmunson/social-media-super-size-me-a-quick-alt2fb-update