Zurker – Analysis of The New Social Network You Can Own
If you’re just here for the Zurker invitation, the link you can use is at the bottom of the page.
My dislike for Facebook caused me to delete my personal account a year ago, and I haven’t looked back. Only since I’ve started blogging have I created social network accounts for people to be able to follow me. A new entrant to the world of social networks is Zurker, which I’ve just learned about today.
Unlike every other social network I’ve seen so far, Zurker wants to use a collectivistic public ownership model. As a libertarian, I’m always skeptical of attempts at collectivism, but if it’s voluntary, I fully support any attempts to revolutionize whatever the field in particular is.
The primary difference between Zurker and social networks like Facebook
Since Zurker is owned by its users, the social network is likely to be a lot more accountable to its users than Facebook or Google Plus. There’s supposed to be, sooner or later, an idea section coming out. Users will then be able to vote on ideas they want implemented (giving them thumbs up or down). Of course, this requires a good team of programmers first, and Zurker is still quite new to the social networking scene.
I wonder whether each vote will count equally, or whether the number of shares someone has will magnify their voting power.
What I like about Zurker so far
I’ve only used it for a very short time, but right from the start I like the cleaner interface. It looks more like Google Plus, and less like Facebook. In the year I was away from Facebook, it’s become a real mess. Looking at a page I just get confused. Maybe I’ll get used to it, but I doubt it.
But what I really like is the interests feature. I list keywords I’m interested in, and then I get a list of people with similar interests that I can issue invitations to connect with.
I’m not on social networks to connect with people I already know – I have email for that. I frankly couldn’t care less about the daily minutiae of my friends or acquaintances, so I view social networking with people I already know in my personal life to be a waste of time. Never mind the privacy you throw out the window the moment you start networking with people you know and putting up all your personal information on the internet. I’m all for using personas. Here’s a satirical but no less true clip from Onion News.
I’m on social networks to meet new people. I’m interested in new perspectives, and following people on social networks is one of two ways I’ve entirely supplanted the need for watching the mainstream news (the other being following websites like infowars.com and naturalnews.com). A full list of sites I recommend you have a look at is on the right hand side.
And of course now that I run a blog, I also want any interested readers to be able to follow me on whatever social network they’re already using. Hence why I’m back on Facebook despite my dislike for it.
Zurker provides some very interesting financial incentives!
Since the success of Zurker directly benefits its users, Zurker might be able to create an interesting dynamic.
On the one hand, Zurker can lure people into using it with it’s financial incentives and ability to alter its development course through ownership. The more friends they attract, the greater their personal benefit from their ownership in the social network. In effect, every Zurker user becomes a marketing agent.
Had Zurker chosen an open registration right from the start, who knows if as many people would have chosen to register. But by making it invitation only, suddenly all existing users have a motivation to tell all their friends, and potential users await with excitement their ability to find said Zurker invitation. It’s the same kind of driving force that Google first used to make Gmail popular (that and it’s uniquely huge account space).
And on the other hand, users of Zurker are going to be less likely to want to leave the social network, as they have financial ties to it.
It’s potentially quite a potent business model!
My Zurker Invitation
Since Zurker is still in a closed beta test, the only way you can join is by invitation.
Apparently, in exchange for getting people to join the social network, I receive a vShare. I’m mentioning this for full disclosure. So if you don’t like me, don’t use my invitation!