A Modest Proposal for a Different Kind of Social Media

UnknownMan2sI had an idea about a new approach to social media that addresses concerns about privacy issues. This is off-topic for this blog, but then it is my blog and I can change the rules if I want to.

Dissatisfaction

Many people are dissatisfied with Face Book and other social media sites because of privacy concerns. However, since these sites allow them to connect with friends and family, they are reluctant to abandon it.

That reminded me of when people first began to use e-mail back in the 90s. At first, most did so within a network, like AOL or GEnie. This limited communication to others on the network, so eventually people shifted to e-mail clients like Outlook, Eudora and Thunderbird. Something similar could happen with social media.

A Way to Gain Control

The way for people to maintain control of their own data is have it reside on their own computer, tablet, or cell phone. A system would be needed that would allow people to share this information with friends and contacts. I think this would be some kind of peer to peer network.

I suspect that it would have to be developed as an open source project. Possibly it would only be necessary to develop a protocol for social media data transfer. That would allow multiple developers to create social media client systems just as e-mail clients are today.

Transition

I think it would be difficult for a system like this to become popular unless it is easy to transition to. A social media client could be developed that would connect to other people through Face Book or other provider. The information would reside on the individual’s computer and only links to the information would be loaded onto Face Book.

I’m not really on top of the technology, so maybe there is already something like this available. The closest thing I know of is Hoot Suite. If you know of something, I would like to hear about it.

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