Moving Society Forward Towards a Global Plant-Based Future.
The web is a powerful thing. Never before in our history have we had such an immensely impactful tool at our disposal. This incredible potential is being realized more every year as we move into unprecedented territory. Social movements that may have taken hundreds of years in the past are happening at breakneck speeds and could take a single generation or less.
One of the largest social movements happening now and quite possibly the most important of our time is the shift towards plant-based eating. This is an exciting thing, but can also be quite scary. We need tools and guidance to help us navigate these uncharted waters.
Why are people making the shift?
The shift towards plant-based is a necessary and inevitable one. Using animals as a source of food is unsustainable, unethical, and unhealthy. As our population approaches 10 billion people by 2050, the negatives of animal agriculture will only be amplified, the risks more severe. The reality of our situation can take time to soak in and take hold. After all, we’ve been exposed to decades of misinformation and have deeply rooted beliefs. But we are moving in the right direction.
Information can no longer be hidden from public view. It’s not as easy to cover up questionable business practices that industries have done so well in the past. We are “undoing” the damage done by decades of false advertising, clever marketing, and deep societal integration. However, for those who take the time to do the research it’s a foregone conclusion, using animals is harmful and unnecessary (to our health, the planet, and the animals), so why continue?
Social media platforms today are flawed
Social platforms that exist today are fantastic, yet flawed, information sharing machines. They’re a big reason as to why we’re seeing large social shifts happen quickly. They allow anyone to share whatever they want (within reason), we’re able to LIKE things we enjoy and UNFOLLOW what we don’t. Over time we create a social “bubble” that gives us the information we want to see. When something appears that contradicts our beliefs, it can lead to heated arguments, hurt feelings, and the inevitable unfollow.
So while social networks today are great for their ability to help us share information and move the needle on social change, they’re not quite the right tool to help most people move towards more plant-based eating with the support of their friends, family, and peers. There is a tremendous need for goal-oriented social media platforms, everyone pulling in the same direction for the greater good.
That is where Plant Powered Community comes in. Plant Powered Community is a social network and sharing site that’s designed to help people make lasting changes. It’s taking the best features of social networks and filtering out the noise. It’s the right tool to achieve a goal, enabling us to all work together towards a better future. Let’s talk about how we get there.
Three keys to learning new food habits
Three things are necessary to help create long lasting dietary habits - recipes, restaurants, and resources. Sharing in Plant Powered Community will always fall in to one of these three categories, and here’s why:
Food preferences are a highly personal thing. Some people enjoy spicy foods, some enjoy sweet deserts, some could eat pizza for every meal (I’m guilty), some want quick and easy recipes, some enjoy pushing their culinary skills to the limit. Most of us fall into different places on that spectrum depending on the day of the week. Not everyone is going to be interested in salads, and that’s ok. As it turns out, a plant-based diet is not restrictive as many expect. There are foods of all different ethnicities, flavors, preparation difficulty, and varieties. We need a place to explore all these options, as well as save and organize our favorites for easy access later.
We don’t always have the time or desire to cook at home. We need to know which restaurants offer plant-based options and how those options stack up. Convenience is a big hurdle for many, as well as the belief that plant-based options at restaurants don’t exist or don’t taste good. We’ll help to showcase these options and show that they do exist and they’re delicious.
- Where will I get my protein?
- Is soy unhealthy?
- Should I go gluten-free?
- Can fasting help?
- What about sugar and oils?
- How does dietary cholesterol affect blood cholesterol?
These are just a handful of common questions people have and there is so much conflicting information on the web, what do we believe? Plant Powered Community will be the go-to place to learn more in a quick and easy way, which brings us to the topic of content quality…
Driving Quality User Content
How do we make sure content quality is high while reducing the amount of unnecessary churn and low quality content? There are several features being implemented in Plant Powered Community to assist with quality.
The more of your posts are upvoted, the higher your Plant Power meter raises. Users with high Plant Power will be users with a history of sharing quality, liked content. There will also be badges attained for specific actions, for example somebody who shares and gets interest in a lot of recipes may get a foodie badge while another who shares quality resources could get an educator badge. Ultimately these systems will help the (non-dairy) cream rise to the top.
Above and beyond standard user badges, we’ll have expert badges available to qualified users, such as certified health professionals, dietitians, chefs, and scientists, among others. This will be another way to help you identify and determine the trustworthiness of the source.
Sharing a recipe that’s been shared 50 times already in the past? How do you know? This is done through some persistent measures of posts, such as reviews and bookmarks. Whenever you share something that’s already been shared, you’ll see the full history of reviews and number of people who have bookmarked that item in the past. This will reduce churn of low quality items while helping quality content really shine.
We’re evolving, it’s time for the Web to evolve too
Plant Powered Community is the social network I’ve been wanting to create for the last few years since my family switched to a plant-based diet. We’ve experienced so many delicious foods and health benefits. I want others to be able to experience the same but without the daunting challenges. It needs to be as easy as possible for people to get motivated to BEGIN their journey, and for those who are already there they need an enjoyable place to share, help others along, and keep learning new things.
Plant Powered Community is a tool for removing common roadblocks and accelerating our transition to plant-based foods as a society so that our friends and family can live longer and we can better preserve our planet for future generations. It’s about making plant-based learning a welcome place while recognizing that everybody’s situation and starting point is different.
There is so much more to come (features planned and unplanned) that you’re sure to find something useful you can share with friends and family. It’s time we come together for a common goal; a healthier, sustainable, and ethical future; and build a web tool that helps us all get there.
I recently launched a KickStarter to help this vision come to a reality as soon as possible, and now I need your help for an early release date. The world needs Plant Powered Community and it needs it yesterday, there is no time to delay. I see so many people that could really benefit from this right now and I’m determined to put all my efforts forth into making it happen. If half the people who read this pledge at least $5 and share on social media, we’ll get there. Let’s build a global Plant Powered Community together.