Two weeks ago, I suggested that there might be a need for an invitation-only, highly curated, viciously monitored social network with subject matter restricted to business, tech, culture, and innovation. The response has been overwhelming, and it has taken me all week to sort through your thoughtful submissions. Thank you. This has been absolutely eye-opening! Here’s a list of some of the common themes and feature requests.
True Thought Leadership
One senior exec from a global ad agency put it best: “Something that is challenging to the current thinking and not something you can get by following news feeds, much more than a curation of news releases from the usual suspects.” I could not agree more. This is exactly the plan. To me, monitoring content is just table stakes. We are going to be savage editors and fact checkers. As for the quality of the writing and its level of insightfulness? That will be up to the community. We will build a mechanism to score every post. As we all know, popularity has never been a measure of quality, and quality has surely never been a measure of popularity.
Many seasoned professionals admonished that we keep this highly focused and not try to go too broad. Pick categories where we already have personal relationships with the world’s best thought leaders. Suggestions included AI and machine learning, data science, AR, 5G, IoT, consumer electronics, open source, telecom, automotive tech, digital health, fintech, advertising, robotics, marketing, management, automation, future of work, digital transformation, and RPA, to name a few. We will start small, with clearly defined, monitored, and curated forums/chat rooms or Slack or Discord channels to gather everyone together – then we’ll move to a bigger, bespoke platform.
Keep Posts Short
This idea is super interesting to me. Many people cited Twitter’s 240-character length as just a bit too short. Suggestions centered around a 450-word limit for every post. What this says to me is that the abstracts for the articles can’t be the first paragraph of the articles. We’re going to need to have a structured format for creating valuable, actionable content.
It is pretty clear that no one wants to be distracted by advertisements. Along the same line, there is a consensus that we should do our best to avoid “humble brags, sales pitches, and ‘look-who- I-know’ congratulatory pronouncements.”
Be in the Identity Business
Almost everyone who has ever been on another social network insisted that we be 100 percent in the authenticated identity business. Said differently: One person, one account. Everyone in the community should be who they say they are. What about people who are employed by big corporations who might not be allowed to speak truth to power without jeopardizing their livelihoods? We will allow pseudonymous posts, as long as we know the owner of the pseudonym. That information will be private and never shared. But we will not allow anyone on the platform we don’t know to be a real person. No droids will be served here. No artificials, synthetics, or bots, either.
Avoid Class Warfare
The fear of class distinctions or a caste system resonated with me. Many people who were self-employed or working for small companies wanted to make sure that we did not build an elite enclave that excluded lesser-known or unknown thought leaders. I have no intention of predetermining who is or is not important.
Pure News Feeds
What I also heard was that this platform should restrict itself to a size where every user’s news feed gets every post from every tag the user chooses. This is going to be an interesting challenge. Not for the engineers, but for the users. I’m excited to learn how people actually use the information that gets curated. I am also excited about what we might train an algorithm to accomplish with those statistics and the rule base that evolves with them.
Push, Don’t Pull
Almost everyone who said they already belonged to four or five other social networks (including some specialty ones) said we should work hard to make this a subscription service, not a destination. That is the plan. We are going to build as many integrations as possible and make it very easy for engineers to build their own integrations. We will make sure the information you want and the relationships you seek find you – that is the core thesis of this project.
This Is Just the Beginning
This is just a short overview of some of the key requirements you’ve asked for. There’s a form below where you can add feature requests or just offer a comment or criticism. We really want to hear from you.
We are going to call the platform PGX, and we’ll get some preliminary information up at pgx.tech soon. Thank you for your interest and support. With your help, we are going to build an incredible, safe space for people who are passionate about building the future they want to live in.
Invitation to Invent the Future
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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.