For the past 15 years or so, I’ve been lucky to earn a living working on the internet in some way. One of the problems that I see with the way social media has grown throughout the years is that the power of influence has been taken by big businesses. I don’t think that is always a bad thing but when businesses are focused on making investors happy, their priorities don’t align with what’s best for the people working for the business, or the consumers using their platforms.
One of the side effects of big business controlling social media is that like most things, we are all lured into committing unreasonable amounts of time trying to figure out how to make social media give us the desired results we are manipulated into craving. Likes, favorites, clicks, comments, or whatever it takes to make us feel good in the moment on a specific platform, no matter how hard we try, it becomes the priority of using the platform. Unfortunately, that leaves us with a huge gap between those who look at social media and say, “I’m not going to play,” and those who have lost themselves trying to keep up with everyone else. So the businesses spend countless amounts of money trying to lure in those on the sidelines, while spending even more money trying to convince those that have agreed to play the game of social media that you have to stay on longer or more frequently to be successful.
Being someone who has worked on all sides of the relationship between brands and creators, and even spent a lot of time helping both sides better understand the other, I’ve wanted to see a few things change more than anything, transparency in the value associated with an individual, more power being held by the collective of creators, and a fair exchange between businesses that benefit from any and every person that creates a post on social media, regardless of how big their following is.
In 2019, I started working on a project called NEON with the goal of creating something that could potentially address those two things and present a new way of thinking about how socializing, both online and in-person, could work. The pandemic brought that to a screeching halt but my desire to create something that allows everyone the chance to participate in the game and solve some of the problems I see is something I think about every single day…
How do I explain the value of a person and what they do, to the corporate suit that doesn’t really get it? How do I explain that the key to everything is at the four-way intersection of passion, nuanced knowledge, curiosity, and creativity?
Each time I walk into my favorite coffee spot, I always wonder why I have to pay for that $4 coffee. People that follow me on social media know how much I enjoy coffee. Some know my favorite spots and even tag me in their posts when they go to the same spot. I’m not saying I should get things for free. What I want is an exchange of sharing what I love in exchange for those things. Whether it be coffee, a movie, a new pair of sneakers, a night in a hotel, or an experience of a lifetime, I’m excited to share the things I enjoy, and equally excited when someone shares a common interest in those things, or when they introduce me to something completely new that they are passionate about.
I think that aspect of sharing is what community really is and where that perfect mix of passion, knowledge, curiosity, and creativity come together, I believe we can create something that has the potential to change the world.
With the pandemic loosening its grips on all of us, it’s time to get back to creating the change I want to see.
NEON is now $STATURE
, and you can now join the Discord community
and help us determine what this experiment in creativity, community, culture, and social currency will become.
In the real world, we each bring unique value to our network that is not based on likes, follows, or an algorithm. Our actions, the trust we build, and our integrity determine the real value we bring to any new connection, relationship, or experience. Others see the value in us as a combination of these things. It’s up to us as individuals to shape how others come to know us and trust us. So while this experiment will be open to everyone, you’ll gain access to various things through the trust you build with others in the community with every interaction along the way.
Share. Connect. For the love of new relationships, new experiences, and getting out of our comfort zone, let’s build a community that encourages passion, creativity, curiosity, and more human connection in a digital world. Let’s make a better way to share with each other. Let’s create something that lights us up with inspiration and connects us with new people, experiences, and ways of thinking.