The Real Reason Google Plus Failed

Google Plus should have been an Internet giant, a social network to put fear into the heart of Mark Zuckerberg. Instead it became the giant butt of Internet jokes, a place you go to on the Internet when you want to be by yourself. Its failure has lessons for anyone building a private social network. Read more

Google Is Going To Make Your Community Much More Polite

Talkback anger

Image: Craig Sunter

Could the days of toxic comments finally be over? Is the Internet about to become a pleasant, polite place where opinions are always offered with respect and talkbacks are actually worth reading? If Google has its way, that might be exactly what’s about to happen. Read more

Why Twitter’s @Jack Can’t Beat The Trolls… But You Can

Twitter isn’t having a great time. While Facebook continues to pile on the users and drag in the money, Twitter’s latest quarterly report showed a 0.5 percent decline in year-on-year revenue. User growth has stalled. Shares fell 10 percent on the news. Read more

Your Social Network Is A Real Social Benefit

When Valerie Elmore saw a dog run out on a local road and get hit by a car, she did what anyone would do. She gathered the dog up and drove straight to a nearby animal hospital. Unfortunately, the dog died, and Elmore turned to NextDoor, a local social network, to find out whether anyone had lost their pet. Read more

Revealing Location Data Doesn’t Need To Make Your Members Nervous

For about a month at the end of 2016, Transport for London, the body responsible for managing the London Underground, conducted an interesting experiment. It tracked the mobile phones of passengers traveling through the center of the city. Gizmodo has managed to acquire the data that TfL gathered — and it has some valuable lessons for managers of private social networks. Read more

Fishbrain Shows Social Network Builders How To Hook Members

Image: Jenny from Taipei (CC)

“In general, networks like Facebook and Instagram are sharing platforms — they’re super broad. And when you’re posting about your passion, it’s irrelevant to many of your friends.” That quote on comes from Fishbrain CEO Johan Attby. It sums up everything we believe about private social networks. Read more

When Two Local Social Networks Go To War, Only One Can Survive

“Nobody in the office is crying,” Matthew Boyes told Techcrunch after the announcement that he had sold his UK company Streetlife to the American firm Nextdoor. The US-based local social network had closed a “multi-million pound acquisition” to buy its rival’s assets. None of Streetlife’s staff will follow the user data to the new owner as the American company attempts to penetrate the British market. Read more

Facebook’s Drops Personalization On Its Social Network

Facebook has recently announced a number of updates to Trending, a feature that shows topics currently popular on the platform. Users in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and India have been able to see Facebook trends since 2014. On the Web, they appear in the top right corner, and on mobile, the trending topics can be seen from the search bar. The updates make three changes… and they mark an important move away from the personalization that has until now defined social networks. Read more

Private Social Networks and the Value of True Connection

The head of the Catholic church might seem an unlikely candidate when it comes to people making poignant, interesting comments about social media, but in section 47 of his treatise Laudato Si, Pope Francis has done just that. He writes:

“Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature.”

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