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 Call To Arms, Redux: We Need A Twitter Killer App To Mobilize & Organize The Resistance

by Shelton Bumgarner

First, let me stress that I am only idly mentioning this. I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn. But eventually, I believe, someone is going to realize that not only does The Resistance need an app, but that same app could help kill Twitter. All you need to do is use the app initially to mobilize and organize The Resistance and then leverage it into an actual Twitter killer.

Among the things I could see this app doing are: 1) helping people register to vote 2) being a one-stop-shop for various GOTV efforts and general mobilization 3) general helping with organization of The Resistance 4) having several urgently needed features that Twitter currently doesn’t have.

If you made the on-boarding of the app really intuitive and made it so people felt connected to The Resistance on a personal, individual level, I think that would be very helpful. It’s just matter of someone doing it. I doubt it would cost all that much to develop to begin with. If you can get $50,000 together to help there being daily protests in front of the White House, you can at least get that much to develop a basic app to help The Resistance.

But, whatever, this is just fun to think about.

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.

How To Use Time Magazine As The Core Of A ‘Twitter Killer’ #startup

by Shelton Bumgarner

The word on the street is that Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated are for sale. Rather than let some insane Right wing nutjob buy them and turn them into a mainstream Brietbart, why not do something really innovative. Why not think outside the box and turn those the writers and editors of those three publications into something really unique.

The thing about Twitter is a lot of really powerful writers and editors use it as some sort of public salon where they sit around and talk about issues of the day. What if you designed a “Twitter Killer” made up of Time and its sister publications that had a similar purpose to Twitter but was much, much better.

It seems so obvious. It would be really cool and I feel it would be a near instant hit. What you do is you completely re-imagine Time. You accept that the the print magazine is doomed and have all the content that the magazine’s writers and editors otherwise produce dumped into your new Twitter Killer.

You could also use those very same writers as the seed group of users. They would invite their friends as you grew the service and it would help the service star off on the right foot. This is such an obvious application of Time that I don’t understand why someone with a lot of money doesn’t run with it.

Twitter sucks so bad that if you did as I suggest, it would be quite popular, quite quickly I believe. As I keep suggesting, you design the service by leaning on the concepts of Usenet from 20 years ago. But no one listens to me and the social media space isn’t exactly bumping anymore. People with all the money are too interested in AR, VR and automation to worry about something so blase.

But I really do like the concept. It’s really strong.

The Fate Of SnapChat & A Social Media #Startup Based On Usenet Concepts

by Shelton Bumgarner

I may have talked about this before, but I have nothing else to talk about right now, so we’re going to talk about it again. You see, of all the existing social media networks, SnapChat has the most to lose right now. Instagram is eating its lunch and maybe if SnapChat did something out-of-the-box dramatic it might be able to innovate itself out of certain doom.

I’m thinking, of course, of the social media startup concept I have based on the old Usenet. What if SnapChat took the basic concepts of the platform I’ve talked about at great length and use it to save itself from being eaten by Instagram? I have no clue how exactly they would do it, but right now SnapChat has the means, motive and opportunity to save itself by doing something crazy like completely re-imagining the entire service. What if public snaps were threaded in such way that you could have an intelligent convertation using them? Throw in a new desktop app for the service and all kinds of cool stuff might happen.

But, really, I can’t help but keep thinking about the startup concept I have. It’s just so cool. It’s too bad that I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn. It’s weird that we’ve actually gone backward in the last 20 years when it comes the functionality that Usenet once provided. Throw into the mix some IRC functionality and you have the makings of a killer app for sure.

One issue, of course, is would Facebook either co-op the service or buy it out the gate? I think if you made it clear that it was Twitter now Facebook the service was gunning for, then maybe they’d settle for an investment, just like Microsoft did with Facebook many moons ago.

I just really like the idea of bringing back the concepts of Usenet, which were so addictive to me 20 years ago, to modern social media users. But, alas, no one listens to me and if they do they’re just frustrated with me for not being willing to code. This has a lot more to do with me just needed something to talk about than anything else.

V-Log: Yet More Mulling A Social Media #Startup Based On Usenet Concepts

by Shelton Bumgarner

I mull about this all the time and no one listens to me, but this video is a nice little run-down of my continued fascination with this concept. Overall, it’s a pretty strong idea for a social media startup, too bad everyone cares about AR, VR, bitcoin and automation now.

Mulling How To Share Posts In A Usenet Concept-Based Twitter Killer

by Shelton Bumgarner

One thing people have come to expect is the ability to share information they like within a social media environment. With Facebook it’s Sharing, with Twitter it’s Retweeting. With Reddit you can “vote up” content you like.

So, the question is, how would you do this with a Usenet concept-based service. This is an interesting, and crucial, question. You can’t have people vote up posts because that’s a direct rip-off of Reddit and people would see it as such. Meanwhile, Sharing like on Facebook is problematic. The best I can think of right now is some combination of “Starring” and Sharing. You might Star a post you liked, and Share it on your “Wall.” Or something. You would have to think of some way whereby people would feel like they were interacting with the content.

This gets into the whole concept of how you would represent Trending Topics. You would have to do in a dramatically different manner than Twitter and I think you could figure out something. I was thinking a pull-down menu that would be feature rich and give you all kinds of different options that either Twitter already has or are unavailable with Twitter.

Anyway, all of this is moot because I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn. But it is interesting to dwell on.

Use Case: The New York Times & A Social Media Platform Based On Usenet Concepts

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m bored, so here’s another use case for my social media platform concept that is just my personal daydream. Imagine there’s some breaking news about the Trump Administration. The New York Times writes a story about it and if my concept were real, they could shoot the entire story into the platform.

Here’s where the cool stuff happens. The game changing stuff.

See, not only could they keep the formatting and advertising of the original article, but users would be able to inline edit the content (in other words quote the article directly and write within it) in such a way that people would be engaging with both the content and the advertising in manner that could be profitable for both The New York Times and the service that enabled the whole thing to begin with.

I would say, at least from a content producer’s standpoint, that’s the most compelling use case of this proposed service. It’s really cool. It’s a completely different way of using content. Too bad no one listens to me and this just me daydreaming in a public manner.

I Am Frustrated With Twitter. We Need A ‘Twitter Killer’ #startup

by Shelton Bumgarner

I should be going to bed, but I can’t help myself. I keep finding different angles for a Twitter Killer based on Usenet and IRC concepts. The two things put together would be a one-two punch that would fell Twitter and maybe take Reddit along with it.

I say this because Twitter is a complete piece of shit.

It’s barely useful. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s useful despite itself. I want a service that organizes the huge amount of information that a public service like Twitter generates, but does so in a much more friendly manner than Reddit.

That’s the thing, Reddit is probably closer to what I’m looking for…and yet, I don’t like it. I don’t like it because I want something based directly on Usenet concepts, not watered down. I think young people would be delighted with an updated version of Usenet (at least the version I have come up with) and I also think you could make a lot — a lot — of money.

I say this because as I have thought the service up, you would interact with subjects you were interested in in a self-selecting manner that would allow the service to offer up extremely specific ads that you wouldn’t mind interacting with. At least, that seems the most logical use of the service relative to my vision for it.

I just like the idea that I could go to a specific Group created by a Verified Account holder about this or that topic and there would be a steady stream of people talking about a subject I was interested in. It would be live chat, not the weird delayed discussion that Twitter has. Then, should the owner of the Group post something, we could respond to it with inline editing and a full page.

Now, I debate if that particular aspect of the service is needed. Should anyone be able to start a thread? I just don’t know for sure. It makes more sense for that to be so, and yet. Maybe it should be up to individual Admins. Maybe that would be a feature they could decide upon. That makes the most sense.

I think that would be the answer to a lot of problems — when in doubt make it an option you could access from a pull down menu.

I don’t know anything. Everyone should ignore me. But I do have practical end-user experience with social media so this is just me daydreaming. I am, however, really frustrated with Twitter. Something needs to be done about that. Someone, somewhere, needs to come up with something to replace Twitter. Twitter is so very annoying.

How Fashion Blogging Might Handle This Social Media Service Based On Usenet

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am interested in how different really passionate subgroups might use this service. I want to be a fashion photographer at some point in the near future, so, for no other reason than it’s fun, let’s talk about how fashion bloggers might use this service.

The key thing to remember is this service could potentially bring new life to blogging in general because it is based on the concept of the threaded used of entire blog pages. (In essence.)

So, it is easy to imagine popular fashion bloggers getting verified accounts and then blogging to their hearts content in the context of a threaded discussions. They could post pictures of fashion, write about fashion, talk about fashion in a chat room and, I’d like to think, eventually have recorded video conferencing about fashion.

For a group that was really passionate about something like fashion bloggers, this service would be adapted quite quickly. At least, I think so. In fact, I would suggest as part of the soft, slow roll out of the service in the beginning that you would court popular fashion bloggers on Twitter and Instagram. You’d pitch it to them by saying it’d just like the traditional fashion blogging of yore, but with all kinds of new social goodies that they would have to see to believe.

At least, I think that would work. A lot of it would have to do with how easy to UX / UI was. That’s really the key to the whole thing, I think.

Regardless, as I keep saying, this is moot. This concept is too late by 10 years, I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn. It is fun to write about though. And I can’t sleep.