Despite recent concerns about privacy controls (or the lack of them), outrage about personal information being sold to third parties and irritation about in-feed advertisements, facebook remains one of the most popular social networks available. Almost everybody has a facebook page. It is a convenient way of keeping in contact with distant rellies and long-lost classmates who, lets face it, we barely remember anyway. For this reason I still maintain my facebook page, though I visit less and less.
Rather than settling for a site I am no longer even fifty per cent happy with, however, I have been on a journey. A quest. The mission of a lifetime. In an effort to find that ultimate of treasures – a viable alternative to facebook – I have travelled from one social network to another, joining, trying, sometimes staying (I loved pintrest!), more often leaving, but never finding that one site that was just right. Until, that is, I struck virtual gold when I discovered Zurker.
An up-and-coming new social networking site that is still in the beta stages, Zurker is, nonetheless, already a vibrant site in which members interact with kindness and respect. Lacking all the distracting games and apps that seem to have invaded facebook, I enjoy the fresh, clean look that Zurker presents. You own any data you enter into Zurker, but Zurker takes this one step further. Not only do users own their own data – they actually own the network!
That’s right, every user has the opportunity (completely optional, nobody has to pay to use the site and there is no free version vs pro version – everybody has the same experience) to buy what they call vShares – virtual shares which, at some point in the future will be converted to real shares. That’s right, real shares. Worth real money. And with a real say in the running of the site. You can also earn vShares free by referring new members. You can learn more about vShares and how they work here.
If you ask me, though, one of the best features on Zurker is the privacy controls. Each time you hook up with a new contact, you assign them a tag (or more than one tag if you like). For example, your mum might be tagged ‘family’, ‘close family’ and ‘clean fun’, your boss might be tagged ‘work’ or ‘colleagues’, while your best friend might be tagged ‘friend’ or ‘bestie’ and someone you just met on Zurker could be tagged ‘stalker’. Then, when you post content, you activate or de-activate your tags, giving you complete control over who sees what.
When posting content, you can allocate up to three zones. These act like hashtags on twitter, allowing users to search out content on a particular topic. For example, here is what you might see if you wanted to check out #memes:
You can see what other members have posted by visiting your streeme:
Kind of like in a real neighbourhood, your home view (pictured above), shows activity that is directly related to you, such as, when somebody leaves you a note or comments on one of your updates. On the other hand, your street view shows what your contacts have been up to – updates, links they’ve posted, comments they’ve left on other content and so on. Just as you can use tags for privacy, you can also use them to personalize your street view. Only want to see work-related content? Activate your ‘work’ or ‘colleagues’ tags and de-activate all the others. Don’t have much time and just want to catch up with family? Activate your ‘family’ tag and de-activate the others.
As with other social networking sites, each member gets their own profile page where they can list their likes and dislikes, post a profile pic and allow people to subscribe to their feed.
This is also where users can go to see a streamlined view of your posts (your posts will also show up on their streets), leave you a note or check out any pics you might have posted.
Brand new users might find Zurker a little confusing at first, but it is a breeze compared to your first time on facebook and it doesn’t take long to get used to it. The community there is awesome. They are friendly and welcoming, even when you disagree with them. Best of all, Zurker gives the impression that you are an important part of the community, not just another faceless marketing opportunity.
Take my advice. Pop on over to Zurker. Check it out. If you like it join. Preferably through my page – I could use the vShares. If you do join, hit that connect button – I would love to see what you have to say!
- Facebook’s location tracking feature will push the privacy envelope – again (digitaltrends.com)
- Protect Yourself from the Recent Facebook Update | CareerBliss (careerbliss.com)
- Have You Zurker Yet ? (queenoflight88blog.com)
- Social Networking: A Guide (insureyes.com)