It’s Time for Some Clarity
Social media can make our opinions about the world stronger without a better understanding of it. But what if we re-envisioned what it could be, bringing to bear what we’ve learned about its promise and peril over the last two decades?
There are more brilliant people on this planet now than ever... but they need tools to support and share their work if they’re going to shape humanity’s future. Their perspectives are needed more than ever because the human condition is more complicated than it’s ever been. What if people’s voices were amplified by expertise as much as celebrity... to create conversations across echo chambers and silos? What if there were a platform designed to help people who try to understand the world shape it?
We have to start by rethinking who we want to connect. Convention favors platforms with massive communities. But what if we built a network that’s valuable, not just because of the amount of content users consume or the number of people on a platform, but because of the quality of the information being exchanged? This could keep the community free of trolls, bots, and those who capitalize on disinformation. And what if this platform were built from the ground up with an understanding that technologies that aren’t thoughtfully designed to counter the systemic problems that society faces, like racism, tend to amplify them?
This is easier said than done, especially because social platforms need to be economically viable. So what if we built a platform that wasn’t based on advertising and selling users’ data? What if we helped users monetize their expertise and content through a revenue model based on commissions… or even tipping.
The idea seems timely, considering what happened in 2020:
Conversations moved online as people transitioned to remote work, conducted research interviews through video calls, and found new ways to interact with experts and influencers while social distancing.
Intellectually curious people sought a better understanding of systemic issues, from ecology and climate change to social inequity and racism, because they became impossible to ignore in dramatic ways.
Domain experts across diverse fields of knowledge, from human science to STEM, rose to the moment by offering their perspectives to anyone who would listen through new media, from podcasts to online events.
Cultural change is socio-technical. The social change was apparent as intellectuals began to reorganize with the goal of discussing their areas of deep expertise in new ways to gain the attention of the public, also known as mindshare. But a necessary technical component, specifically a tool designed for this purpose, has been missing. So we’re building it: an online platform to support a new era of public intellectualism through online video calls, content, and events. It’s called Mindshare and if you’d like to join, you can pre-register while we’re in private beta. Membership is free, by invitation, and non-exclusive, so you can belong to other expert / speaker networks. We work primarily on tips based on the paid expert interviews we facilitate for our network. Lastly, if you represent an organization that serves experts and intellectuals, particularly those who are often underestimated or overlooked, feel free to reach out directly through the contact form if you’re looking for a partner. We’re committed to raising underrepresented voices.
We ask a lot of questions and this project began with a big one:
What if, instead of trying to build the world’s largest social network we built the smartest?
We hope Mindshare provides the answer and if you’ve made it this far — you’re probably who we’re building it for.
Co-create new knowledge through dialogue privately, via calls, and publicly, via online events and content.
Support experts on the platform when possible through calls, by sharing social media posts about their work, and collaboration.
Build the community you want to have by spreading the word about Mindshare to experts and intellectuals in your network who would contribute to and value this community.
Treat other members of the community with respect and report any hostile behavior or disinformation.
If you’ve opted in to the expert network, exercise appropriate discretion when accepting and requesting expert calls.