Thank you to those that attended the inaugural Centroly Knowledge Club event! We started with a summary of articles in this collection on Social Networks and Digital Behaviour, and dived into some profound questions.
The discussions were truly thought-provoking and insightful, here are some key takeaways that stood out to me:
- 👼 Are Social Networks net good or net evil? Some of you thought it was just a tool, others observed that as social networks grow in scale, the quality of the network drops. You even pointed out that perhaps it's the rules of the networks that keep people in check, which makes it the responsibility of the platform and designers to keep things civil.
- ℹ️ How can we build a social network that is a more credible, trustworthy and dependable source of information? You talked about a social network called the Experience Project, a social media platform that connected people based on common experiences and had tried to share good and uplifting things in life. Others pointed out that niche communities like on Discord seem to stay more focused and are more manageable. You also observed that sports-based communities have a clearer goal and objective, which proves to be more supportive and collaborative.
- 💸 Is it wrong for social media companies to optimise for engagement? What else should they optimise for? Some of you suggested that perhaps putting some gatekeeping in front of a network, be it some hurdle requirement, a subscription payment, or other tests can ensure a community's quality is preserved and engagement improved. Others pointed out that some social networks are designed to promote useful content such as scientific articles and knowledge, rather than trying to attract people to clickbait. You also mentioned that "if you don't pay, you are the product" 😲. Some of you would even be willing to pay for social media, if that meant the network is better managed, focused, and oriented towards positive outcomes.
Thank you for your thoughtful views and the stimulating conversation! Our next session is scheduled for 15 Oct, we are now voting on the next Knowledge Club topic:
- Goals and Incentives
- Niche communities: To go big or stay small?
- Engagement and monetisation: Is there another way?
If you'd like to participate in our bi-weekly Knowledge Club sessions, you can register for our upcoming events at this page here.
Stay hungry, stay curious!