The New Social Media: Holler
Social media in general is a nebulous morass of banalities, bewilderment, and bullying. It was a great idea, a practical tool, in theory — and perhaps in practice — at the beginning, but not so anymore. Problems arise not just out of conflicting opinions or fearless incivility born of the relative anonymity provided by some platforms, but also from simple questions of utility and functionality. Does anyone who isn’t already famous really know how to build a following on Twitter? Can someone explain to me why I should use Facebook Messenger instead of texting my friends? Why do I want a picture of you with a dog nose? Can anyone else clearly see how Draymond Green could have accidentally posted a picture of his junk by simply doing what seemed intuitive?
We at MindHead do not believe social media is, by nature, fatally flawed, but it has yet to achieve its potential; its original purpose of truly connecting people in meaningful ways. We want to fix that, and help social media blossom into what it was intended to be. That is why we have built Holler, a semi-private, semi-permanent broadcast social media platform (think Twitter, but better) optimized for groups with some new features to improve not just the user experience, but also increase value to the user. From following-building tools to anti-bullying measures, we’ll discuss those features here (about 30, total), in detail, one at a time.
Our first new feature: Original Content
Have you ever seen a tweet like this in the timeline of someone you follow: “wow, that had to feel as stupid to type as it did to read.”? That’s a real example. That happened. What am I supposed to get out of that seemingly apropos-of-nothing comment? What is the point of me seeing that in the timeline? What value does it add to my life? The answer, of course, is none, nothing. So now I’ve wasted a couple minutes trying to figure out what this tweet means and why I should care, but still don’t have an answer. Seems like a waste of time.
To combat this, Holler will show only original content in your timeline, meaning only original hollers from you; no more fragments of conversations, no more replies (holler backs) to replies. This serves two purposes. One, you will always know you are starting at the beginning of any given conversation when you see a holler on someone’s timeline (or your own) and, two, having to drill deeper into the conversation promotes greater understanding of the discussion and, in theory, keeps the incivility found today on certain platforms to a minimum through self-policing and decreased exposure. Much of the bullying we see occurs not in original content, but in the back and forth that follows. No part of that subsequent discussion will be immediately visible in the timeline, reducing what bullies want most: attention.
Originally published at medium.com on August 16, 2016.