As Facebook Shows Its Flaws, What Might A Better Social Network Look Like?

This article brings out so many good points.

  1. You really can’t quit Facebook unless you (and hopefully your friends) have someplace to go.

  2. Future social networks need to be decentralized yet able to communicate with each other. I like this about Mastodon and Friendica. I’m not sure if is moving towards that or not. You need to be able to take your data from one social network to another if you decide to leave.

  3. A network needs to be free of advertising and commercial interests, so there is no incentive to mine your data and personal information.…

The thing is that there are two major models for social networks: Twitter model and Facebook model. Both have their uses, strengths and weaknesses.

Twitter model is less personal, it’s a bit like artillery shells, you make a post and fire and forget. The Twitter model reduces most things into short soundbites. That’s bad trying to discuss complex issues, but it’s great for sharing neat things you have found on the web.

The Facebook model is more immersive, and if your friends are online the discussions can be more complex. Groups allow subsets of people to discuss common interests. And everything can be discussed in more detail (and better threaded) than Twitter model sites. At the same time, Facebook model sites also allow you to post in soundbites. The Facebook model sites seem more personal.

Alt Social Networks. Places you and your posse can go:

Friendica if you like Facebook you will like Friendica. It’s a FB clone in many ways. As I said in my review of Friendica there is a lot to like. Forget the stuff about running your own Friendica network, just hit the “Try it” button on the Friendica site, find a community and try it. Find a community that lets you crosspost to Facebook and your friends might not know you are gone.

Mastodon is a really good Twitter clone. The difference is there are many different Mastodon communities on many different servers in different countries. Mastodon lends itself to themed communities (ie. pagan, furry, kink, literature, writers, and some general topic). You can follow people on other Mastodon communities (called Instances) and their posts will appear in your timeline. So you might join a Mastodon instance for writers and your friend might join one for photography but you can still follow and talk to one another. is both a micro and long-post blogging platform that is also a very nice social network. It’s not really a clone of anything which is good. It is more of a Third Way. From you can crosspost to Twitter, FB and/or Medium. It costs $5 per month but there are no ads, tracking and you get a lot of features for that. To me the biggest benefit of is I can seamlessly switch between microblogging (short posts) and writing longer posts. This post was a perfect example: it started out as a quick “Lookie here a neat article” post with a link but it turned into something Real Long because I had more to say. Because words convey your thoughts. Thoughts can’t be limited to soundbites. What you say, your thoughts, are important - they have value. Above all things, write what you will. Freedom of format is cool.

Brad Enslen @bradenslen



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