Why we don't use Facebook, Twitter etc. in Spot The Future

by request of @Vahagn and @Inge.

With so many people using Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks, why don’t we simply run Spot The Future from one or more of them? Why do we insist using our own platform?

  1. No intermediation. You are talking to UNDP in a space that UNDP designs and pays for. We believe we should not need to go through corporations to talk to our own institutions.
  2. Fairness. On the Edgeryders platform, all your content remains yours. You just grant us the license to show it to others (legal information here).
  3. No commercial interest. Mainstream social networks are for profit corporations selling contextualized advertisement. Facebook in particular constantly tweaks its code to show people content that their client pay for. They want you to look at what will make them the most money, not at what you are most interested in. We do not do that, so we can guarantee that your contribution will not be buried under status updates with energy drinks or fashion brands.
  4. Access over time. Facebook, Twitter and the others never delete content; but they do make it difficult or expensive to get over time. You can't search for tweets older than 15 days; and Facebook prefers you to look at new content. Every contribution is precious to us, and we make sure it is fully accessible and indexed by search engines over time.
  5. Privacy and data protection. Mainstream social networks use your activity to profile you as a consumer, and figure out what sort of advertising you are responding to the most. With our platform, you can choose to participate without your participation labeling you as a certain kind of individual in some massive database in the USA. Our servers are protected by German data protection law, one of the safest in the world.
  6. Inclusion. For all these reasons, there are people in the Edgeryders community that refuse to use Facebook and Twitter, many of them hackers. We value their point of view and do not wish to exclude them.
  7. Reusability for analysis. We are not simply having a conversation here: we are collectively writing a document that encodes the views of citizens engaged in future building, social innovation, lifestyle hacking and so on. To aggregate individual opinions into a collective point of view we need analysis: to do analysis we need full access to the content. Mainstream social networks do not restrict access to our content, even if we created it.



As I mentioned, the only reason I suggested Facebook was to use as a tool to get people to the platform, how would people otherwise know about the project? One has to use these tools these days, just as we should use twitter, radio, tv, linkedin, etc. We need to get the word out, and it just happens that in Geo and Arm facebook is the largest social network site. I never proposed to have the discussion on there, I completely understand the reasons why you want to have the discussion on here, as I mentioned before. 

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I think the above is useful for any of us in the project team to be able to explain to others why the nudging towards this platform - actually this is how it came about. The rest is social media, it’s (still) free and a must for any kind of engagement you wanna build. So no disagreement i think about the channels we’re using to help build the conversation.

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I remember our discussion well, @Inge – no argument here. This document was requested by @Vahagn, who reported having to explain to people in Armenia why we insist on not having the main discussion on Facebook.

Ah, sorry!

Did not realize that, I thought you had perhaps misunderstood my stance :slight_smile:

Good points…but

I am sure some people heard the Jan25 rev called the FB rev…I disagree with that.  But the more relevant point is that it did a lot of marketing for the company here in Egypt and as a result, we might have the highest per capita users in the world (not confirmed).

As a result, the easiest most efficient means of communication online is through this platfrom which I feel may be disingenuous with its users, and there is a lack of trust.  However, they have hooked us and we are dependent on them.  Cairo is a 20 million person vibrant city with all kinds of events everyday, its intense.  The most reliable way to know all the events is through the Face.  As a not for profit business we rely on this technology to reach our objectives in a timely manner while creating the impact we feel is priority.  Catch22.

Been there, done that

We’ve been there before, @Muhammad Radwan (welcome, by the way). We do use FB, TW, Linkedin etc. as delivery channels: we push links from our platform over to mainstream social media; some people see those links, click on them, read content from our platform and engage. What we don’t do is engage in conversation on those media. It works often enough that we were able to catch thousands of users, posts and comments on Edgeryders. 

We are helped by the fact that we don’t do mainstream stuff, and our users tend not to be mainstream. :slight_smile:


We are using social media to have conversation and building a great deal with the other user. Anyway thanks for posting.

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