You could just use a mailinglist

Alternative to Facebook

I’ve written about this topic before, but we lost something powerful when social networks turned into social media. Yesterday, I was reading a blog post by Chad Dickerson on the topic. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times when he was still CTO at Etsy and I was CTO at Shapeways. He’s a very thoughtful and soft-spoken leader.

In this post, he highlights much of the same sentiments I had about Facebook. In a way more eloquently than I ever can, he writes:

“This environment is incredibly WEIRD. It’s supposed to be about human connection yet so much of what occurs is dehumanizing. Why do we do this to ourselves? This whole thing is very unhealthy.”

His chosen solution is to use email and specifically a newsletter to keep the people he cares about up to date:

“There is very little performative aspect to writing an email to a known list of people since you’re not (consciously or subconsciously) fishing for “likes” or other comments.”

“The replies I get are much more personal and informal than what I used to see on Facebook.”

“I don’t sit there and think about what other people might think about what I’m writing — just the person who emailed me. To me, this is closer to what true friendship is like.”

I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve done something similar with a finsta after Path got shut down, but the outcome is the same. The conversations are personal and the lack of the act of performance is liberating.

I feel there’s an opportunity for a real social network again.

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