Building a social network is more of an art than a science. All the social platforms we use today strike a unique balance between allowing free-form communication and enforcing productive constraints that make posting less dauntingly open-ended and chaotic. Unique combinations of media, constraints and etiquette let online communities develop in wildly different directions.

Countless possibilities.

So Zach Deocadiz and I decided to build a social network for building social networks—it’s called Stacks. Every stack is its own social network—when you make one, you can drag-and-drop the content that appears on each post.

Want to make a community where people share photos of food and tag their friends in it? Or one where people check-in to concerts and share audio clips of the show? A photo-sharing community with no comments but six different Like buttons? A group for sharing articles and commenting on them using sketches? The users are the architects.

What’s really cool about this is that it lets people experiment with different kinds of social media constraints really rapidly. We’ve been having some fun on it, and we’ve love to see what happens when more people join. Please join us.

Lots of thanks to Chris Novello and the rest of our Computer Utopias class for their super-helpful feedback, plus Byte, Peach and Hypercard for being sort-of inspirations.