An Idea For A Social Media-Centric Media Company

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

It seems to me that traditional blogging is dead. You just could not start a Gawker today, in other words. I noticed that Politico had an article about what does work on the web these days. The article says two metrics are the future: passive consumption and video.

So, I suggest the following: instead of a website, you lean into how people actually consume media these days. You convey the entire article in the headline and a small bite of information. You also have a 2 minute video to go with this. That’s it. That’s the entire article.

How you would make money off of this, I don’t know. The only way I can think of is maybe put a 30 second ad in front of the video. But I do think the general concept would be successful.

There’s An App For That — How A Radical Resistance Could, In Practical Terms, End The Trump Administration And Accidentally Design A ‘Twitter Killer’

By Shelton Bumgarner

The macro-level forces at work against an effective Radical Resistance, one with the single-issue goal of impeaching and removing Donald J. Trump, 45 president of the United States, are pretty staggering.

Trump is an avatar for about 37% of the elector that feels historically disenfranchised. Meanwhile, the economy is doing — in relative terms — great, so a lot of people who might otherwise be angry with Trump honestly don’t give a shit. They’re more concerned with Little Johnny’s t-ball match that the fact that the current administration is headed by a treasonous, felonious 72-year-old toddler.

So, if you wanted to politically wargame the situation on a macro level, I have — and have had — at least one suggestion: build an app.

I have proposed building a social media startup designed specifically to facilitate regular massive national protests with the intent of putting pressure on Congress to finally do something about the cancer on the Republic known as the Trump Administration.

Doing such a thing would be very complex and potentially time consuming. But if you designed an app or a site specifically from the ground up to meet the needs of this concept, then I think it would help greatly.

Regular massive protests on a national scale would have to be legal, civil and well organized. I would not want to use Facebook or Twitter because I find them cumbersome and too easily compromised by trolls, bots and MAGA haters who would want to disrupt thing.

Anyway, in my vision of things, the service would be set up like this: You would have Groups that were divided into threaded Discussions. One third of the screen — the right side — would be live text chat. If you wanted to start a threaded discussion with someone in text chat, you just hit a button and invited them into a video chat that could have up to four people in it. This would be done in the context of a Discussion (which would take up the other two thirds of the screen on the left). Below the initial video chat would be a place to write a full page blog post. The whole thing would be threaded and you could have inline editing of someone’s post.

But this is just the basic concept. As time progressed and problems arose that needed to be fixed, the service would evolve to meet these problems. Best of all, after Trump was brought down, the service would be repurposed as something of a “Twitter Killer.”

I suspect the only way to fund this site would be either an angel funder or crowd funding. I doubt you could get a traditional VC to fund it simply because they wouldn’t see how they could make money right away. I believe if you see this site as the core of a potential Twitter Killer, however, it would be a pretty cool investment.

I guess what I’m saying is if the Radical Resistance simply existed in the first place and was organized enough, it could not only maybe bring down the Trump Adminstration via an app, it might also accidently produce a Twitter Killer social media app along the way.

V-Log: How To Save Time Magazine

by Shelton Bumgarner

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

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

This is an interesting talk. Enjoy.

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

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.)

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

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

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

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

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.