Rebel or Obey? Freedom or Control? Inspire or Oppress? Emancipate yourself!
Welcome to Unthink, a new social network set up as a contrast to Facebook. It’s just opened up to the first round of beta testers, aiming to provide a more honest form of social networking.
That’s a network where the users own their own data and won’t see their personal information sold to advertisers, is the promise from the Tampa-based outfit. It remains to be seen whether $2.5 million in funding and a rebellious attitude is enough to take on the mighty Facebook, but we have to admit the thought of someone bold enough to try is intriguing.
Unthinking the rules
Unthink CEO Natasha Dedis said [according to TechCrunch] that the idea for Unthink came to her when her son wanted to sign up for Facebook. Dedis became uncomfortable with agreeing to sign up to the terms of service for Facebook, as they could change at any time. But her son became anxious when she told him this, because not being on Facebook was unthinkable: “He was really stressed about it, like he didn’t have a choice – he HAD to be on Facebook.”
Enter Unthink: “It’s not a social network, it’s a social revolution”. Dedis explained: “The number one thing that had to be ‘un-thought’ about social media, is who does it belong to? We need to own everything that we put on our page. We can be as private or as public as we want, as long as it’s our choice.”
Unthink users can choose brands to sponsor their pages, picking one they like and act like an advocate for the brand. Alternatively they can pay $2 a year to avoid any sponsorship. The site at first glance set up similarly to Facebook, but iti has a few extra bits that look like genuinely good ideas, such separate sections for personal and business colleagues. Watch out, LinkedIn.
The “cool” factor?
“Elevate your attitude.” “Value a creative environment like oxygen.” “Always, always, always be optimistic.” These are the kids of things you will find on Unthink’s statement of “emancipation”. It’s a very American attitude, all this, which may seem overly sunny-side-up to us Brits. But then again you don’t see us establishing any Silicon Valleys over here, so maybe we have a thing or two to learn.
Whether Unthink can trip of Facebook remains to be seen, as it’s much too soon to tell. But as the Mark Zuckerberg character kept saying in the film Social Network: “It has to be cool.” Is Facebook cool anymore? … It seems Unthink may be in with a fighting chance.