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Why we need a more human internet

Posted by Thandile Thobela on 13 March 2019 1:35 PM CAT
Thandile Thobela photo

Platforms, The Platform Revolution, Communities and customer retention, the building of smart connected ecosystems – there’s a wealth of topics, yet I still managed a fortnight of blog writer’s block. Then I listened to Reid Hoffman interview Caterina Fake, one of the co-founders of Flicker. “We need a more human internet,” says Fake (and yes over the years this surname has apparently caused pain, including the cancellation of travel tickets, social media reporting and more.)


What does a ‘more human internet’ mean? It means connected communities, it means less vacuous social media and more meaningful connections, it means shared purpose linkages and change makers coming together.

I cannot tell you just how much I loved this interview and she’d been interviewed by Tim Ferris just a few weeks before. Equally good but not this exact message.  

For the past six years, we have built platforms that are driving shared purpose communities in AgricultureEducationTourism and local enterprise development, among others. Over the years of building platform communities, here’s what I’ve learned.

Many people are sucked into a vortex of social media and think of every platform as social media. Despite the fact that they are constantly exposed to carefully curated unreal lives on these social platforms, and constant breaches in data privacy, they are unbelievably forgiving. If I had a Rand for every time a potential customer said, ‘but we have a Facebook page, why would we invest in yet another platform,’ I’d probably be considerably wealthier.

But here’s the thing! Social media does NOT equate to meaningful community building and engagement. It does NOT make the internet more human, but according to Ms. Fake – it makes the internet more FAKE!

If you truly want to understand the platform revolution, real engagement, real collaborative ecosystems, email me! Let’s build better ecosystems and make better, more human connections.

Janice Scheckter is CEO of Indigo New Media and in case this blog failed to communicate it, is PASSIONATE about community building, especially communities that drive impact and social change.    

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