Unthink

Barriers were meant to be broken.

Question preconceived ideas.

Think for yourself.

Anyone can be extraordinary.

This is not me going all religious-spiritual on you, hangover blues in tow, but phrases taken from new kid on the block, website unthink. Unthink is the antithesis of Facebook, or at least that is how it presents itself (clue 1. “maintain your freedom” seems to be pretty key theme). However, unthink also has a bit of that cult-like following act going on – the website describing itself as “a Community with a Shared Way of Thinking“, as opposed to Facebook, which I would hazard, acts as a way of sharing lives. However, the website has big ambitions, tied with a bit of an infurriating “we know better” self-confidence, that results in a mountain of revolutionary ideals – “spark a revolution that will change the world”, “emancipate social media and unleash people’s extraordinary potential”, “never tolerate intrusive or wasteful behavior”.. you get the gist. Unthink is the internet’s new little Miss Perfect – eco-warrier, samaritan and brains wrapped up in one. You can almost imagine a whole wave of unthinkers typing away at schemes to destroy the all evil one, Facebook; and being ‘different’ by joining, yet another, social networking site.

I think that is where unthink’s flaw lies, by openly defining itself as everything that Facebook is not (honest, open, users own their data), unthink warrants to much attention to the big F. It almost seems like a childish and catty mission to dethrone Facebook, rather an attempt to create something new and exciting. As TechCrunch describes it-

“taking down Facebook is the core of Unthink’s marketing campaign. In fact, the majority of Unthink’s message is about what it is not: it’s not another social network, it’s a social revolution. Unthinkers are not users, they’re owners. Unthink is not in control, you are. And so on. It even has its own manifesto, deeds and covenants.”

And it all started because a mother disagreed with Facebook’s terms of service for her son, terms of service that I barely knew existed on the site. The mum, CEO Natasha Dedis, then gets even more embarrassing (for her son at least) by attacking advertising on social media. Thus while on Facebook, users’ social networking activity is used to provide advertisers with a way to target precise demographics, on unthink they do the opposite – allowing users to choose a brand to sponsor their page, by way of an ad dubbed “iEndorse”. However, given the whole extraordinary mantra of the whole site, I cannot envisage many unthinkers going down the relatively normal, commercial route of being a brand ambassador. Likewise, the opportunity for unthinkers to network twitter-style with brands on a separate communication section of the website, seems misplaced.

An Unthink profile page

So my conclusion with unthink is that it might need to think a little more. Unthinking the idea of being the other, “cooler”, alternative version of Facebook, to being a little smarter on what its social revolution ideas really are, as being the “all in one social media” is not it.

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