Dear [Humane Tech Community] - i’ve been lurking & admiring you for some time,
A builder of social gaming & ad-tech products in a past life, I feel a strong sense of guilt and responsibility to push the industry toward practices not in conflict with the wellbeing of society and our mental health. My small team (2 developers) & I have been prototyping a humane social app that doesn’t hurt anybody.
In this day & age, it’s unrealistic to quit online social networks. Instead, we endeavor to offer a healthy alternative. We reimagined the incentives, defaults, and mechanics to align with & promote shared virtue. Unsurprisingly, the result was essentially opposite to Facebook and the status-quo. That doesn’t just mean serving users instead of advertisers (you’re not the product) - that means privacy by default (exposure, not privacy settings), surfacing only strong curated signals (not endless algorithmic noise), sending as few notifications as possible, optimizing for depth and intimacy (not breadth & superficial vanity scores), and more.
Social is a massive space and not a monolith. We’re still at the infancy of the potential that ubiquitous social connectivity can deliver to humanity. We believe that potential is one of GOOD rather than one that makes us less informed/happy/productive. It must be so much better!
This is not another “faster horse”. Developing an original bicycle for the mind (not a hamster wheel) in stealth has been lonely. I’m terrified & embarrassed, yet hopeful to share our humble progress with you today. For anyone who also seeks to promote digital wellness, especially for the most vulnerable - we’d love to learn and iterate from your feedback.
The sustainable & best way to align incentives to generate value is empowering users and their communities. We don’t care to promote our brand, we hope to arm the rebels to facilitate theirs and aspire to be the Shopify of this space. Our app requires a community invitation to join (can be branded / skinned into a “custom app” in minutes). Here’s an example I made just for this forum that you can use to try it out.
I’m already grateful for anyone who’s read this far, and if you are so kind as to give it a try, we will sincerely be in your debt regardless of how critical your feedback is. It would be an honor to collaborate with anyone that wants to do well, by doing good. I’m happy to answer any questions you have here or in the app, and thanks again for your time.