Zurker: the Social Network Democracy?

May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Lately within the blogosphere, there has been news stirring about a new social network supposedly built “by the people, for the people”

The network is called Zurker, a seemingly strange possible reference and personal address to Zuckerberg of Facebook himself. The site promises that members will gain a part of the stock of the company should it go viral, trading in “vShares” from joining and recruiting members. This virtual currency, it promises, will be exchanged for a piece of the company itself.

This morning, I received an invitation to this site and signed up immediately. However, some things perturbed me about the site itself- who is the creator of this website? Where is the contract I need to sign onto to become an official company partner? And most importantly, why aren’t you like Facebook, and why don’t you want our money?

And clearly, I’m not the only one a bit weirded-out by this viral act of “goodwill.” Social media conspiracy theorists are already having a blast with this one, even though the network hasn’t even progressed past beta testing.

“I look happy because you are, essentially, driving people away from your own social network without any of my help. Bravo!”

Zurker is doing what thousands of small social networks have (failed to) do: be the rising alternative to the “social networking dictatorship” behemoth that is Facebook.

But what really differentiates this network from all the others? You, too, could own apiece of it- not only this, but you also have a say in what updates the site makes through member voting.

“So you mean I could not only get the perfect social networking site and get rich just by sitting infront of a computer?” you ask. Well, if things go to plan, although nobody, not even the members of the site, know exactly what this plan entails.

While the site offers a share in the business, what is neglected is the concept that should the company gain steam and the value suddenly plummet for whatever reason, you can say goodbye to stock money and hello to being in the red. Simply, it is not a pleasant idea, and yet the site does not address it in the least.

Not to mention, that the creator, Nick Oba, has had previous experience in small, democratic, start-ups like Zurker; and not the good kind of experience. Most infamously, on his most recent venture, he worked to create a “by the people, for the people” entrepreneurial magazine called Fortitude, which ultimately crashed and burned, leaving members who bought into the business given no compensation but an IOU note.

image credit: rj55.com

It looked like this.

He did promise his desciples re-payment in the form of Zurker stocks.Good intention or horrible business practices? This one is up to you.

But not that any of this matters anyway; if the world ends this year, I am sure there is no need for social networking in the afterlife anyway.

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