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?
- 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.
- Fairness. On the Edgeryders platform, all your content remains yours. You just grant us the license to show it to others (legal information here).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.