V-Log: How To Save Time Magazine

by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltbumgarner

In this v-log, I talk about my vision for “saving” Time Magazine by turning it into an app. I love this concept, I just wish someone would listen to me.

V-Log: A Deep Dive Into Saving Time Magazine By Turning It Into A ‘Twitter Killer’ App #Disrupt

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

No one listens to me, but this is a really compelling concept. The idea of turning the legacy brand Time Magazine into an app that would compete — and ultimately kill — Twitter is really cool. And on the face of it, it’s pretty obvious. What you do is, you use the existing content creation backend infrastructure of the magazine to start the app.

There’s just so much to talk about. I talk about all of it pretty extensively in this video. But, like I said, no one listens to me and I’m just pissing in the wind. But it is fun to talk about. I just wish someone with some power at Time Magazine might at least listen to me.

V-Log: Monetization Of The Transition Of Time Magazine Into A ‘Twitter Killer’ App #Disrupt

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

This is an interesting talk. Enjoy.

V-Log: Re-Imagining Time Magazine As A ‘Twitter Killer’ App #Disrupt

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

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.

Groups
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.

Posts
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.)

Video Conferencing
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.

V-Log: Saving Time Magazine By Turning It Into A ‘Twitter Killer’ App #Disrupt

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

There’s just so much you can do with Time Magazine’s content. It has a great name and it generates huge amounts of content on a minute-by-minute basis. So, why not use its editors and writers as the core of a new social media app and Website, one that could “kill” Twitter.

I mean, really, Twitter is completely useless and only about 10% of its user base produces any content that anyone wants to read. So what would happen if you started off from the ground up a new service where at first only the editors and writers of Time Magazine could contribute into the system full page, multimedia posts that were in different Groups devoted to thousands of different topics?

Now, I’m basing all of this in a very loose way on the old Usenet newsgroups. But to the modern user, I guess they would see it as kind of a mixture of Twitter and Reddit. What happens is, you seed the service will Time Magazine staff, then gradually, over time, others would build up enough “points” that they could also do administrative things.

It’s pretty widely known that most people — especially celebrities and other thought leaders — hate, hate, HATE Twitter for any number of reasons and I think if you gave them a viable alternative they would flock to it. There is just so much you could do with this premise. You could have recorded video conferencing, you name it.

But no one listens to me, so I’m just pissing in the wind. But this is such an obvious yet out-of-the-box use of Time Magazine staff and content it’s kind of sad that no one will do anything with this concept.

My Vision For Time Magazine: Turn It Into A ‘Twitter Killer’ App Based On Usenet Concepts

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Of all the legacy media brands that could be used to destroy Twitter, Time Magazine is at the top of the list. The reason is simple — Time Magazine has a major problem and so does Twitter. Time produces a lot of great content, but it’s based on the cycle of a weekly magazine. Meanwhile, Twitter’s problem is even more systemic. Not only is about 10% of Twitter content the only thing worth anything, but it is extremely poorly designed when it comes to what people have come to use it for: having a discussion.

So, with that in mind, I propose that Time’s new owner, Marc Benioff, completely re-imagine Time Magazine as a publication from the ground up. What you do is, take the very core of what makes Twitter popular — writers and editors talking to each other in a public form — and use all the existing writers and editors of Time as the core of an app (and Website) based on the concepts of the long-ago Usenet.

Now, there are some basic flaws with this concept that would have to be managed. Chief among them being how do you scale the concepts of Usenet into the millions? I propose these problems are fixed in several ways. One, you are paying people to essentially post full-time into a discussion app, you can give them a lot more sysadmin control than you might otherwise. They would have a vested interest in curating their “newsgroups” that they were responsible for. Each writer and editor would have any number of newsgroups, or Groups, that they were responsible for. No need for a hierarchy like Usenet once had. You would have redundant Groups focused more an editor or writer than whatever subject.

Meanwhile, if you limited who could post to any particular group, that would greatly control the number of posts into any particular group and as such aid in scaleability. In affect what you would have is discussion of the massive amounts of content generated by Time Magazine native to the content itself. In other words, given that you would have full-page threaded posts in Groups and those Posts would have inline editing, you would give readership an unexpected to date unprecedented since of empowerment. The ability for people to inline edit content from Time Magazine in threaded discussions via an app would be something a lot of readers would enjoy.

Let me be absolutely clear — I know this sounds a lot like Reddit. That comes more from Reddit being a poorly implemented version of Usenet than it does what I suggest is simply Time Magazine copying Reddit. It seems to me that something like turning Time Magazine into an app is just the thing to not only save the magazine, but “kill” Twitter.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

A Mobilization & Organization App For The Resistance As ‘Twitter Killer’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Things are kind of dire, folks. The reason why I suggest we design a mobilization and organization app for The Resistance now is we need it to exist now for one the real fights — the fights we dare not even begin to imagine — are thrust upon us. So maybe someone, somewhere is already working on what I suggest, maybe they aren’t.

All I know is we really need one right now.

In my imagination, the app I want would could be a stepping off point for a Twitter Killer. The alt-Right already has Gab, why shouldn’t The Resistance have it’s own site / app? The thing about Twitter is it’s completely useless and will grow ever more so in the coming days.

So why not someone in The Resistance design an app that not only addresses the existing issues people have with Twitter, but also is designed from the ground up to facilitate people getting involved in democracy on a personal level. It can’t possibly be that difficult to think up a basic feature set. There is growing momentum in The Resistance for direct action and if you had an app that channeled that energy productively, I think you’d have yourself a hit.

The obvious question is why not just use existing apps to organize? Well, they’re too easily manipulated by foreign powers. Bots are a real problem on Twitter just as fake accounts and trolls are a big problem on Facebook. I have a pretty complete vision for an app / site in my head and it wouldn’t be too difficult to repurpose it for the specific vision.

Of course, there is the issue that if the center-Right uses Gab and the center-Left uses the app I suggest that we will finally be completely within our echo chambers to such an extent that there will be zero communication between the two groups. But as I said, things are really dire and we need to worry about stuff like that later.

We really need to design an app to organize and mobilize The Resistance.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer livings in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

A Call To Arms: Someone Design An Organization & Mobilization App For The Resistance

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Things have grown so dire in just the last few days, that we need to think outside the box. We have to be ready now for the inevitable clash that Trump is going to provoke in his rapacious quest for absolute power. If the recent change in Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy has show anything, it’s that pretty much the only part of our democracy that is working is the part where public outrage actually has some sort of affect.

Other than that, we’re on our own.

I suggest someone, say Crooked Media, design an app that is specifically invented to facilitate mass organization and mobilization on the part of The Resistance. It could do everything from facilitate people registering to vote, to ride shares to protests to how to get in touch with local Resistance leaders who might be planning a protest in the first place.

It can’t possibly be that difficult. I would do it myself, but I have no money, can’t code and don’t really want to learn. But Crooked Media seems to have the means, motive and opportunity to designed the type of app I crave.

Too bad things are going to have to get a lot worse before anyone takes me up on the idea.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at Migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

Mulling A Trump Jump To Gab

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’ve been hearing rumblings that Trump — or at least his social media team — are thinking about working with that insane Right wing echo chamber of bonkers thought known as Gab. It would make a lot of sense. Trump is all about the base and if he simply walked away from Twitter to use Gab full time in would definitely give him what he wanted.

Of course, the enormous rush of liberals to Gab to hate read Trump’s pronouncements on Gab would be something pretty astonishing. But I don’t know. I really hate Twitter, but Trump going to Gab is inevitable but rather tragic. The only answer, of course, is for the center-Left to come up with its own social media platform.

Who would do it and what it would look like is something of a mystery.

The Unbearable Lightness Of Trying To Work For Slate

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

So Slate has an opening I’m qualified for, but, alas, since I don’t, like, have a career in social media I have no paid job I can point to show I’m qualified. So now I think I’m going to wallow in self pity and work on my novel. I may try to think of something to explain why I think I’m good enough to work for Slate, but it’s going to be difficult.

I guess I should have done something with my life the last six years instead of dwell on the past, huh.

But while we’re on the subject of social media, I would like to note that I suspect we’re going to be hearing a lot about Gab between now and 2020. Just imagine if Trump walked away from Twitter altogether and started using Gab exclusively as a way to talk to his base.

That would turn the social media world upside down.

I don’t know how likely it is that that would happen, but it’s definitely something to mull.