Erstellt am: 2. 5. 2013 - 11:18 Uhr
stack is a free social network that lets you decide how public or private you want to be. The service doesn't data-mine your content or censor you above the law. stack has based their platform on the most popular features of the existing networks, and built them around a system that lets you decide how you want to use it.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, almost, because it doesn't exist yet. Ben Posch, the founder of stack, is asking you for help. The crowdfunding campaign just started a couple of days ago.
I asked Ben, who lives in Vienna, some questions...
A straight-forward interview
Ben, what made you think 'I want to create a new social network'. Especially a social network that would be in direct competition with the socialuberhog Facebook?
I got interested in social networking while I was working in advertising. I couldn't believe what i was seeing, how much access corporations could easily get into everyone's life, and I just knew it was wrong and had to change.
"Going up against Facebook is crazy" a lot of people say to me, but the bigger they are the harder they fall. We all know they don't build the system in our interest, but until there's a real alternative, where will people go? There are so many people out there who know what's going on with privacy and that the lack of control of their social presence isn't right. We just need the chance to tell them they can have all the communication tools they want without giving up their rights, they just need to put a few bucks in to get it.
Excuse the question, but what's the difference between Stack and stuff like Diaspora?
Diaspora was not a fully organized company with a long term goal, it was some talented guys with an idea and the passion to try it out. They spent the money rather unwisely if you ask me, and they brought something to the public that most users couldn't understand.
stack is starting out as a company that's only focus is building this network. It's our full time jobs and we're all seasoned professionals. We've got a plan to shift the market away from needing invasive advertising practices in order to fund the building and maintenance of these kinds of communication systems. Once the power shifts away from marketing as the sole supplier of wealth, we'll see a dramatic change in what and why people build new social media products.
Tell me more about your background. What does a PR guy do in the world of web development?
I've got 14 years of experience as a creative in advertising, and i'm kind of done with it. I'm ready to create things that benefit society and culture, and internet related stuff is a natural fit for me. I've always had a computer in my life, since i was very young i've always felt there was a sense of magic about what they enable. I want to spend my life giving people new and wonderful experiences through computing, and not just to make money. money is the waste product of ingenuity. You can use it to fertilize the next crop of ideas, but it doesn't help anybody if it's just piling up.
What do you think will the future of social media look like? At the moment, "social media" almost sounds like an insult.
Social media is insulting. It's marketing lingo and it's totally bs. In one word? Decentralize. The idea of a social network should dissolve into our devices as just a basic communication functionality that we can bend to our whim. For instance I never understood why the contacts on my phone should be separate from all the contacts i have on various networks, except of course that i don't trust the existing networks with my data, and you shouldn't either. But if it were a decentralized network, then you wouldn't have to. The data would always be physically yours, to share as you like with who you like. If we don't decentralize the networks in the near future, they will do serious damage to the freedom of the internet.
What kind of possibilities are there for interested parties? Are you looking for people helping you? Investors?
We are always looking for talented people who want to help build it from all aspects. Technical, design, business. If you've got an idea how you can help, contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I reply to every message I get.
We'll of course be happy to talk with investors, but this isn't your dad's social network. They are going to need to be pretty forward thinking to want to be a part of stack. We will challenge them.
Tell me more about your Indiegogo campaign. And why didn't Kickstarter take you?
Indiegogo just got started, and news is ramping up. You can check it out at igg.me/at/stack. It's certainly a bigger challenge getting the numbers through there, but kickstarter simply wasn't an option.
Kickstarter has a specific policy that says "no social networking websites or apps," which is funny, because there have been plenty of those on kickstarter, and some that are even still running. But at the end of the day they have enough terms and clauses that they can pretty much deny any project they don't like. But don't get me started on Terms of Service or we'll be here until the sun supernovas.