Why I’m Creating Yet Another Social Network

this-is-knapsack

Holy crap, do we really need another social network? Joe, don’t you know the roadblocks and steep hill to climb in order to win hearts and minds?

Yes. And I don’t care.

I’m not building it because:

  • I want to get my name out there even more
  • I want to make boat loads of money and fans
  • I think I have all the answers to making a better experience
  • I’m so cocky that I can make social even better

I’m building it because:

Of my kids. Period.

Ok, So Tell Us More

I’ve got 4 great kids, 2 of which are moving quickly into their teens and I miss them. Don’t get me wrong, they live with me (with us). But I work or do work related things a lot, we have a house that requires a lot of work, I have a family that has a lot of time needs, and they are teens — meaning, they’re glued to their phones and more interested in chatting Seinfeld-style (that means about ‘nothing’ in the eyes of parents/adults; but to them, it’s everything).

It’s true, teens start to drift from the more obvious need to be cuddled and played with, but at the same time, they still really need and want it — just in different ways, almost on their own terms. And that’s okay. But as a parent, boy, do I miss the more innocent love and affection that used to fill their lives and ours (my wife’s life and mine). Now, we have 2 younger ones, so that’s not entirely gone in our lives, but for the older two, it seems to have changed overnight — surely it happened gradually, but by the time it’s gone, it’s like dropping a brick on your foot — it’s shocking.

It’s far too easy to think, well geez, these kids just don’t get it — they became jerks overnight. They’re unappreciative! They’re rude! And while on the surface it looks that way, it’s far too easy to let the ding in your emotions get in the way than remember that they too are growing and maturing — from diapers to iPhones in the blink of an eye. As we get older, we get busier, and time goes far too quickly to even fathom — deep down, we might even hurt a little bit because we sorely miss the ‘old’ them (little, bubbly, innocent, looking to you for fun) and can’t understand how the body snatchers exchanged that for these grumpy zombies who don’t seem to care about much but what is said on Instagram, how many followers you have, or how many likes their latest pic got.

At fist glance, it’s ugly and terrifying. It’s kind of funny too — they still have that innocence and here’s proof:

Their immaturity (a lay over from their youth) — and I’m not using that as an insult —leads them to think that their dear old dad has ‘no idea’ about the Internet; although I’ve been online since the late 90s. They seem to think that technology is for the youth in the world. And that:

>> Only the youth has Twitter, Instagram, posts videos, pictures, etc.

They get it, ‘old’ people have Facebook. You know why they ‘get’ that? Because the adults in their immediate lives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends’ parents, etc) use it and talk about it.

Other aspects of technology and online shit? You have to be a kid and hip to ‘understand that stuff’. Dad, you just wouldn’t get it.

Me: “Oh no? You do realize in my work I help make the Internet work and I build things that people use on the Internet? You get that right?”

Kids: “Yeah, but you work on computers. We use things like Instagram, Vine, Youtube — you know, kid stuff.”

Me: “Ah, I see. Well, I use Youtube. Months ago I posted a new music video. Did you see it?”

Kids: “No. You’re not famous. How many views does it have?”

Me: “17,000. This other one had 6300.”

{silence}

Me: “Im also on Twitter. A lot”

{Kids Laugh}: “You? You’re on Twitter? How many followers do you have?”

Me: “I don’t know…over 3,000”

Silence again … back to the soft glow of their phones on their face as they stare deeply into the abyss of what I consider ‘nothing’.

The ‘Slow Internet’ of Parent-Child Relationships

You know how you’re used to the way your Internet works at home or at your job? I bet you know it so well that you can immediately tell when it’s slow or ‘not working right’. The fact is, even when it’s slow, it still works. It’s just not working the way you’re used to or the way you’d like it to.

The same goes for me and my older two girls. Our relationship works, just not the way I’d like it to, and perhaps vice-versa. But, they’re kids still and they have no insight or tools to try and turn that around. So, it’s up to me.

Yet another reason to build this new social network.

My Final Say On Why I’m Building It:

I’m building this new social network to ‘give’ to my older girls. I’ll be the technical guy and try to help them understand how to make it grow and work, but essentially they’ll be the faces of the network — in their early teens they’ll own and have their own social network. Sounds like a big deal to us adults, they have no idea what that means — I have to show them the way with that.

Plus, this is a way for me to share my knowledge and experience with them.

I hope it will inspire them to want to learn more about how technology works, marketing works, and perhaps inspire them to consider a career path in technology.

I hope that in doing this together, we’ll strengthen a bond, but really the goal is to make sure our bond is unbreakable.

Somehow we went from the swing set to me asking my wife, “Where are the girls? Are they home?” I don’t want to do that — I mean, it’s ok and fine, it’s that I don’t want to feel as though I’m disconnected from them and vice-versa.

So What Is This Social Site?

Listen, my kids love Instagram. They use it to communicate with words and pictures. They hate the 15-second rule on videos and sometimes they take forever to load on a phone.

So, my solution, of sorts, is this:

A social network with a younger generation in mind. I don’t care if the masses like it or not. For all I care, my kids and their friends will use it – that’s all. I’m okay with that.

Image sharing, commenting, messaging, liking, ranking – it’s all there.

Instead of hosting the video and limiting it to 15-seconds – our network allows for sharing of Youtube videos. So go ahead, make a longer video, just host it on Youtube and then share it.

Animated GIFs seem to be missing from the teen and tween world in my house and I really think they’ll be a big hit. So, yep, sharing of GIFs is there.

Yeah, but what about all my pictures on Instagram? Don’t worry, I’m building in a link/function to download a max of 100 Instagram pics that you can then just re-upload to this new network.

That’s the story. I wrote this post as a stream of consciousness kind of thing — on the fly. If you have questions or comments — go for it.

Add a comment