When I was in Seoul, there was this nebulous little group of creative-types who were doing Broad City-like videos with their phones 15 years ahead of their time. It just occurred to me that it would be cool if you did something like that today. Or, put another way, I think there’s both an audience and a marketplace for something of a micro-video version of Gawker.
If I lived in New York City (which I don’t) and if I had money (which I don’t) I would found a Website devoted to combining the best of The Daily Show and Broad City. Instead of fictional little adventures around New York City, I would find really funny young people to do field pieces about “real” street news.
These field pieces would be no more than two or three minutes long and would have a blog post associated with them that would flesh out the story for nerds who would actually like to, like, read and stuff. The trick is, of course, to find really funny young people who are so young that they aren’t already going the YouTube star route out of UCB.
Anyway, absolutely no one listens to me and I’m just letting off steam while I charge my batteries to get back to writing my novel.
Here’s the video where I gradually came up with this idea.
Gab is this insane cesspool of hate frequented by alt-Right mouthbreathers. But it does fill a niche. And as, such, I suggest that there are a lot — a lot — of Twitter users who, if they were given a viable option would at least try it out.
I’m old enough to remember the TV show America Held Hostage, which would turn into Nightline. I’m saying we’re in a similar crisis and, as such, have a similar opportunity. But there’s more to the story than just that.
A lot of different things are happening right now and I suggest that a new app could address than all in one fell swoop. People want a viable option to Twitter. A growing number of people, given the opportunity, would be interested in an app that would help facilitate massive protests against the Trump Administration to end it once and for all. And, lastly, the online news business is suffering a historic contraction.
So, the app I propose, which goes under the codename Irredenta, would address all those issues. The app would be designed in such a way that you would, essentially, pay a core group of users to break news using it. But, get this, much like the Usenet of yore, you have inline editing of that content so the comments are actually inside full page posts using groups. Or, put another way, that’s what you work towards. That’s what you grow into.
The basic app would be a lot like Crooked Media’s Vote Save The People but with a news service of sorts attached to it. It really isn’t that hard to imagine. You just need just the basic vision and resources to pull it off. I have the vision, I just don’t have anything else.
So, unless I get some traction on this, I’m probably going to shut up about it soon enough.
Trump’s defeat at the ends of Nancy Pelosi today jiggles things in more ways that one. In a sense, the jig is finally up for Trump. He’s always been one of those bullshit artists who get way, way, farther than they should because they’re so devoted to, and so good at, “owning the moment.”
Given that Trump could very well face a challenge from the Right on immigration — I’m looking at you Rep. Steve King — our perception of Trump has enter a new phase. Trump’s neo-Reagan mystique has been popped, shattered, ended, however you want to couch it. Trump now enters his Jimmy Carter II phase. But it’s doubtful it’s going to last too long, unless, of course, the “resistance” becomes the Radical Resistance.
The Radical Resistance is more focused, more organized and more ideological than the “resistance.” As I keep saying, it seems to me that we could get a core group of people to go all 300 on Trump in defense of the Republic, then we could, on a political level, end this surreal tragic nightmare once and for all.
We design an app, one that I would code name “Irredenta,” that on one level is a Radical Resistance response to Gab, on another a “Twitter Killer,” on another a way of mobilizing and informing the Radical Resistance and on yet another way disrupt the news business online. This is such an obvious solution to a number of problems that is kind of bothers me that nothing will ever be done about it because, well, no one listens to me. Also, I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn.
The irredenta app I’m thinking of would be marked as both a Radical Resistance version of Gab and means to organize and inform the Radical Resistance should the opportunity arise when people are willing to, actually, like, take to the streets on a regular basis to get rid of this tyrant. I honestly don’t believe this would happen for no other reason than it takes time to design an app and if we don’t do it now, we won’t be ready when the opportunity arises.
A lot depends on how long Trump lasts. If he survives into 2021 and beyond, then the protest app becomes very much more possible. Though, as I keep saying, MX (AR / VR) is hurtling towards us so there is a very narrow window of opportunity for the Irredenta app. By the end the next recession MX will reset the media equation online and, well, then we’ll be talking about that.
This is one of this times when I come up with something really cool and interesting and because I’m little more than a rando Internet crank relative to, say, the bluecheck liberals of Crooked Media, no one will listen to me or if they do they’ll steal the idea and not give me any credit.
As I keep noting, three things are currently happening at the same time and if you simply had a little vision, you could make a lot of money AND disrupt both politics and communication of news online.
Here are the forces at work — 1) Twitter sucks 2) you need a way to mobilize and inform a Radical Resistance to Trump 3) the online news business is in serious contraction because it’s base on a lie.
So, what you do is, think completely out of the box. There is a very narrow window of opportunity for an app to do as I suggest before the end of the next recession when MX (AR / VR) takes over everything and resets the the entire media equation not seen since about 1996.
Really, it would be so easy. The app would initially be marketed to the millions of people who are growing alienated by the spread of Right wing hate speech on Twitter. Tell them it’s a Twitter Killer for liberals. (Or the liberal-progressive answer to Gab.)
Here’s the outside-the-box angle. You use the basic general concepts of Usenet in such a way that seed the service with actual journalists who get paid to break news via the app. (Yes, this sounds a lot like Reddit in its own way, but if you have any idea of how much more robust this vision is, you wouldn’t say that.)
I have talked at great length about this and it’s very well developed in my head. But I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn. But the idea is pretty obvious given the three things I mentioned.
We are at an inflection point. The online media business is contracting because it’s based on a 20-year-old lie. At the same time, growing numbers of people know they’re angry about Trump but they can’t quite articulate what it is they feel.
I propose that you could use the passion of what I call The Radical Resistance to found a news and mobilization app that, if designed properly could disrupt Twitter in a big way during this small window of opportunity before MX revolutionizes everything and hits the media reset button.
I have explained this in great detail before (below, and elsewhere.) Anyway, it can be done, just someone needs to be willing to throw cash at the idea.
It goes without saying that a lot of people are unhappy with both Twitter and Trump. It seems pretty obvious as well that if you did a venn diagram of these two groups the overlap would be the core of a new social media service designed to not only kill Twitter, but bring down Trump.
So, even though I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn, here’s how I feel you could accomplish these two goals in tandem.
First, you designed a service from the ground up specifically meant to have a robust on-boarding system as well as one that once and for all fixed the problem of the online harassment associated with bots and trolls. It would likely be popular almost instantly. That is the crux of the weakness with Twitter. Twitter is dead in the water in some respects and it wouldn’t take that much to kill it if you simply addressed the major problems with Twitter in an intuitive, effective manner.
An unintended consequences of all of this is a lot of celebrities, though leaders and content providers who are extremely unhappy with Twitter would flock to a service that gave them a better experience from the get-go. They, in turn, would bring with them a lot followers who simply wanted the opportunity to engage them like they currently do on Twitter.
Meanwhile, a lot of people know that should Trump finally do the unconscionable and fire Bob Mueller, that they’re going to want to take to the streets. But the United States isn’t South Korea. If you wanted to bring down Trump through people power, it would be a complex, national affair. You’d have to keep the protests legal and regular for no other reason than if you just protested without the proper permits, etc., you’d just get arrested.
Bringing down a president with people power in the States would be require the single greatest popular unrest the country has ever seen. It’s the kind of thing social media was designed for, but never, to date, used to do so in a developed country. So, I believe, you’d need a whole new service designed to specifically facilitate massive, regular nationwide protests if you wanted to bring down Trump.
Put these two concepts together in a social media startup, and I think it would be pretty effective. It would serve as the core of a Twitter killer that would blow up pretty quickly.
The question, of course, is how to actually do it. Probably crowdfunding it our best bet. So, it’s likely that we’d have to wait for Trump to fire Mueller before all the pieces fell into place. I just can’t see an angel investor being willing to shell out the money needed to design such a service. But if Trump finally swerved into a full blown autocrat, I think Americans wouldn’t stand for it. America isn’t Turkey, for Christ’s sake.
One feature I think a lot of content providers would like in my vision of this is that Verified account holders would have more power than the average user. I think if you gave specific power to Verified account holders, they would feel they were stakeholders in the service and their engagement would be higher.
As I have said before, I think you should divide the service into Groups that are divided into threaded Discussions. There would also be a strong video element to the service, whereby you’d be able to have four-way video chat with people in the context of a threaded discussion. This doesn’t even begin to address the features you’d need to facilitate people organizing mass protests.
This is just me playing pretend as to what I would do if given any real power when it came to thinking strategically about how to end this surreal political nightmare the nation finds itself in.
First, I would focus on what, exactly, the ideology of the Radical Resistance is. Though the use of the term “radical” is scary to a lot of people, a lot of other people, do, in fact, feel that Trump is radicalizing them on a political level. That’s why I think it’s inevitable that both Trump will use the term on Twitter for marketing purposes and blue check liberals will nervously oppose its use by fed up members of the now rather vague Resistance because they think it will scare off Republican housewives in the exurbs of Philadelphia. But we’re in a crisis and it seems to me if we design an ideology that makes it clear that the use of the term “radical” is more about walking in the tradition of Reconstruction’s Radical Republicans than it is, say, some crazy radical shit from the 60s. That would take some message management, especially given how hysterical Fox News will be once Trump finally gets round to using Radical Resistance instead of Radical Democrats.
I don’t know who would actually formalize the ideology of the Radical Resistance, which, for me, at least can be summed up as, “Do whatever it takes to get 67 Senators to vote for conviction on impeachment charges.” If you establish that as your “mission statement,” then trying to appeal to #NeverTrumpers who are great writers and thinkers — and know how conservative Senators think — makes a lot more sense. Remember, for me, the whole issue is simply assembling a passionate, focused coalition devoted to the specific political act of removing Trump from office Constitutionally as quickly as possible — preferably immediate.
That’s my personal vision for all of this, at least.
Meanwhile, after I got that settled, Iwhat I would do is design an app much like Vote Save The People from Crooked Media. That would be, going forward, the key to bringing down the Trump regime . I say this because right now we’re in this odd fuzzy world where 60% of the population is slowly beginning to cook with rage over Trump’s tyrannical behavior…but The Establishment is playing by “old rules” where you have to, like, at least pretend to get the lobotomized MAGA mouth breathers to the table before you can broach the subject of impeachment in any real way.
But, by definition, Radical Resistance rejects that view and says so what if we come off as hyperpartisan. It’s like Republicans weren’t potting to impeach President Hillary Clinton as soon as they could for “emails” or whatever else they could pull out of their collective asses.
Anyway, you come up with an app that serves the utilitarian purpose of kind of giving people like me a Deluxe MAGA-Free Twitter where we could plot our moves and mobilize en mass as needed. The app could start off basic and branch out as needed feature-wise. And if you should happen to design a Twitter Killer along the way AND save modern journalism, that would be pretty cool.
The issue at hand is the newspaper business is dying. It seems as though the best way to fix the problem is to completely re-imagine what a newspaper is. Newspapers have always been a platform for distributing news, but over the years they have come to have significantly great cultural meaning than that.
I propose we get down to basics and provide a platform for writers, photographers and videographers to contribute quality content to a social media platform and be paid for it. Now, if you did it right, it’d be a win-win scenario because content providers would get paid and you, the startup, would make money from advertising.
I propose you base your startup loosely on Usenet concepts. I’m the first to say something like that already exists — Reddit — but this would take the Reddit model to the next level in various ways. Producers of quality content would be recognized and monetarily rewarded. They would have to be in possession of a Verified Account, but after that things would be pretty simple.
One a Verified Account holder could start a new Group and within that Group start a new thread, which I call a Conversation. All content would be threaded and based on the Post, which would be multimedia and have a WYSIWYG editor built in. Reddit has kind of moved towards this and that would be a danger — that Reddit would co-opt all your features even if you had a lot of cool ones, but anyway, I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn, so this is just a daydream.
Once you have the app in place, you use it to connect the more motivated members of the Radical Resistance to the average person who might want to use the app for no other reason than it is better designed than Twitter. Population mobilization on the DL, if you will.
But there’s a fatal flaw to this dream — unless something causes us to lurch into a very scary no-end-game-in-sight situation, you could produce the greatest app in history and…meh.
There would have to be a tipping point. And, right now, I don’t see it. We’re just going to muddle along for six more long years.
But if you had those two things established already once the opportunity arose, then maybe something might happen. And, yet, like I keep saying, if we don’t get Trump by August 2019, we ain’t gunna get him for a long, long time.
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.