Xanga. Friendster. MySpace. LiveJournal. FaceBook. Twitter. Tumblr.
Social media comes and goes and it’s hard to predict where the tide will follow when new ones popup claiming to do what your problematic fav does but better. People make their accounts and check it out because of course everyone wants to be in on the ground floor if it does take off and peak their head in on the potential Next Big Thing.
And then we retreat back to the tried and true spaces when it turns out the new site is founded by raging misogynists or big data mining communities or even just nice ideas that will fall apart when put under any strain.
It takes both a big breakdown in the current platform and a sustainable alternative to actually trigger a migration.
But we might be there.
Twitter has become an increasingly hostile space with more and more people retreating from it for their own sanity and safety. The lack of filtering and inefficient controls and support are well known and it has everyone scrambling to be the new home for all the users who wish to escape that but still engage.
And I have high hopes in pillowfort.io being that space we long for.
Taking the best features of LJ, separate communities, filtered posts and timelines (where you can assign users to groups and easily choose who gets to see what content instead of creating private side accounts and using 3rd party clients) and merging them with the continuous timeline of twitter and tumblr and giving it a friendly name (who didn’t create a pillow fort at a sleepover to gossip with friends in?) Pillowfort is making the community effort that other new sites didn’t.
Many of the past attempts to launch a new social media have appeared seemingly out of nowhere and have flamed out just as quickly. Pillowfort on the other hand has been rolling out in beta waves and engaging with users and has been incredibly transparent in their efforts.
I joined when the 3rd beta wave opened up and I honestly started tearing up when I searched for and found communities specifically for the topics I’m interested in.
One of the big problems with Twitter and tumblr is so often the most vocal group becomes the assumed majority and their way is the “right” way. How they want to engage becomes the default with very little room for anyone else. This has created so much friction and tension because often times disparate ways of engaging end up tangled together and clashing creating a lot of unnecessary stress.
And yes of course there’s dms but those are for already formed connections and communities. Forums on the other hand, open to join and with obvious intentions are a great way to engage. There will of course always be those who wish to crash and stir up trouble which no matter how great a platform you have those will always exist. But so much of the drama that comes from people just not understanding and engaging in the same way will be minimized.
For example. In the Star Wars community there are fans who believe the only things worth dissecting and discussing are things that have happened in canon or are incredibly likely to. And there are fans who like to toss out ideas like Ben Solo kept the stuffed mouf his uncle Chewie gave him without wanting to be challenged on how “there’s no proof.” Not to mention just having a general space for spoilers without having to worry about ROT13 or missing a hashtag.
Pillowfort will allow those conversations to happen separately while still having the general omg Lando totally stole the show and Star Wars needs to stop being so male centric general conversations to happen in shared spaces.
If you are interested in this signups for the next beta wave are currently open. They’ve stated everyone signed up will get in in June and they’re admitting over 5000 new users so the community should have a chance to boom. This will be the last chance to get in before the kickstarter so come join me!