by Shelton Bumgarner
I guess why I keep writing about this concept is it’s so obvious to me. I’m something of a “power user” of Twitter and I kind of hate it. It sucks. The reason it sucks is, really, only about 10% of its user base is worth anything. So given that Time Magazine has been bought by a technology company, it seems pretty obvious to me that if you’re going to “save” it, you turn it into a social media platform designed to fell Twitter.
There’s just so much you can do with this concept. For me, the crux of it all is if you base the service on the old Usenet platform’s concepts, it make a lot of sense. Now, Reddit is a lot like Usenet, but it’s such a poorly designed implementation of Usenet as to be useless, at least in my opinion.
But here are the basics of my re-imagined Time Magazine.
Existing writers and editors of Time Magazine, instead of putting a magazine out every week, would be paid, in essence, to contribute content into the service in Groups they would be responsible for. Given that they would be paid to use the service, they would have a reason to be willing to take the time and effort to manage these Groups as systadmins. They would — at least at first — have the exclusive ability to create new Groups. Later, as a Point system kicked in, other people might be able to bubble up to the surface of the system and also be able to serve as systadims. But that would take time.
This is one cool feature — instead of being limited to 280 characters people using the Time App would have an entire full-page, multimedia Post to write content into. These Posts would have a robust threading quality to them, as well as the ability for users to in-line edit them once they had proven that they weren’t completely insane. (How they might prove this is up to discussion. I think at first it would be simply the amount of time you had used the service or whatever. Something intuitive.)
Another cool feature would be the ability to have recorded 4-way video conferencing. If you limited this feature, at least at first, to Time App staff, then you wouldn’t have to worry about abuse.
Anyway, there is so much more I could talk about, but no one listens to me. But, like I said, this is so obvious to me. It just makes so much sense. The user base of Twitter is in near open revolt and if you gave them a better mouse trap, I think they would flock to it in droves. I know a lot of celebrities and thought leaders hate Twitter with a passion. If you gave them something like my proposed “Time App” I think they would love it from the get-go.