Say hello to Boredable.
A new, boring social network for adults.
I've been on social media platforms since the days of Myspace and even Friendster. Yes, Im that old now. I've also watched some of my favorite services rise and fall, from Delicious, Flickr, the 9 Rules Network, and countless blogging platforms. Even today I'm still no stranger to current trends. I tried out Hive, Mastodon, Threads, and everything thats popped up in between, and I'll continue to always explore new platforms. I still help a lot of clients with content, work on their social media strategy, and help them analyze relevant trending topics
But I don't really engage directly with others on any of these platforms like I used to. It's not that I don't want to, but because, well, they just aren't fun for me anymore. I keep jumping from one to another to find a better experience, but the longer keep using these platforms, the more I hate what social media has become. I hate how we're so focused on the like and influencers and the clout, and how it's also become weaponized as a political tool that divides us.
I was a tumblr and LiveJournal kid, meaning I've always liked weird content. So it's also no surprise I really liked twitter once upon a time. It had a cute fail whale illustration when something broke spectacularly. You could also easily post from your phone with out even using the app. Remember when it didn't even have an official app? Who cared, because there were so many amazing user-created flavors to choose from. Some people would argue those apps were even better than the main site. You could use it however you wanted to. But that changed over time as it became more corporate. Twitter lost it's soul, in the same way Instagram, MySpace, LiveJournal and others have before it.
But, thats kind of the issue with startup culture and building something that turns into something big, isn't it? It becomes so large it needs to do everything in order to grow its user base to continue to meet investors' expectations. It's only successful if the profits continue to grow. It's frustrating how after reaching that level of success, so many websites and services will turn their back on their users. While growth is natural, a website shouldn't be beholden to it's stakeholders. And a change in rules or policies shouldn't alienate the users that helped build your community.
I've also come to realize there's a major difference between a social networking platform and a social media platform. Social networking is what we used to have. Social media now is little more than chaotic open forums. They're designed for users to churn out and consume content. Not actually to connect with one another.
X is the future state of unlimited interactivity - centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking - creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we're just beginning to imagine- Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X
Building Something I want to Use
Boredable is my ideal concept for a sustainable social networking platform. It's sort of the opposite of what X (formery Twitter) is trying to be. Boredable has one main purpose- to allow you to share whats on your mind at the moment, or what you're up to in fun and creative ways. Boredable would be a platform to post whatever you want, in whatever way you want. Just with out the nazis and crypto bros.
It has the people you follow front and center, with the ability to discover content based on what you like, or where you are. A social media platform shouldn't be used for banking. It also doesn't need to be powered by AI. It simply doesn't need to be an everything app. I know how I want to connect with others already. Algorithms and AI that try to guess what you want to see should be optional third party at best. There also should be minimal data collection, and no selling of user information. And most importantly, it should be developer friendly. Use the official web app, or create your own. It shouldn't matter how you consume the content.
Your status page on the internet
Boredable solves the simple question of “What are you doing?” Kind of what Facebook and twitter were supposed to do. But then these platforms turned into a content making machine. Boredable presents a list of everyone you follow, and only their latest post and their mood, so you can easily see what people are up to. Thats it. Feeds and content streams are not the focus. Think of it as that AIM status you had when you were a teen and posted angsty emo music back in the day.
A post editor thats simple to use, yet packed with features
Remember the days of LiveJournal or Myspace where you could share how you were feeling and what you were doing? While images and short text are the focus of a post, you can include a number of optional pieces of metadata, like location, what you’re listening to and how you’re feeling, with styling powered by markdown. Want to add more flare to the post? Set a custom theme (and even css) for each post to make it stand out. Don’t feel like seeing a chaotic rainbow of a timeline? Don’t worry, users can also turn off styling.
Location-centric, not location-required
Want to see what people are posting near you? Or maybe you’re interested in seeing content happening in an area you’re planning to travel to? Set your location anywhere in the world, and see what’s happening in that area. Not only that, with custom maps, you can also keep track of places you might want to go, where you’ve been, or any other type of dataset you want!
Custom profiles to show off your personality
Myspace was ahead of its time. It’s also where a lot of us learned to code, We wanted to show off our cool profiles. Why can’t we keep that trend? Nowadays, every profile looks the same, with a boring header image and circle for a photo. Allow your page to stand out with custom styles, and even add your own CSS.
Adult and creative content is allowed, but not a primary focus
Boredable isn’t designed to be another OnlyFans. But we shouldn’t rule out adult content either. Creativity comes in so many forms, and we shouldn’t limit that. Thats why Boredable is for users 18+ only. Don’t want to see explicit content? Users can easily hide it from their feed, and view it when and only if they want to.
Built on an open API for everyone
The Boredable app is built on an API accessible by anyone. That means anyone can create a new app, bot, or website that interacts with Boredable data. Support for protocols like ActivityPub coming later will allow you to interact with other services and potentially other instances like Boredable.
A non-profit organization with a focus on creating a better social media experience for everyone.
What if, instead of being another traditionally VC-backed startup, Boredable took a different approach? Imagine a platform grounded in the essence of simplicity and a commitment to a user-first mindset. Boredable would be a deviation of mainstream platforms, carving out piece of internet where genuine connections are made and users are the real focus. How could this be achieved? It might look a little something like this:
- Tailored Premium Features: Boredable would offer select premium features designed to enhance the user experience, catering to both individuals and businesses looking for a passive yet entertaining experience.
- Reinvest in Development: Revenue from these premium would be directly channeled back into the platform, ensuring that dedicated developers continually refine and innovate.
- Organic Growth through User-Centricity: As Boredable's offerings become more tailored, it would naturally draw in people and businesses seeking a no-frills, authentic platform. These fresh users would inject new perspectives, making for a lively, dynamic community.
- Sustained Revenue Cycle: As more users recognize and appreciate the value of the platform's premium offerings, the revenue generated would continue to be reinvested in development. This would create a sustainable cycle of growth and innovation, with users always at the heart of decisions.
Of course this is just the start. To be sustainable, I’d also love to partner with sponsors and organizations to keep Boredable as free as possible for all users, while also creating tools that benefit everyone.
This all sounds pretty cool! What next?
I spent the last year (give or take) building this idea from scratch, and refining the idea. The entire platform is actually already built, and the code will be up on Github soon. Everything from authentication, the API, basic profiles, filtering, blocking, geotagging, all the core features I wanted are built out and mostly working! But it’s not great- there's a lot of bugs, the UX is still a work in progress, and Im working on scaling. It's little more than a minimum viable product right now. That is to say, it works, but its not ready to compete with the likes of Threads or BlueSky or other shiny new platforms that are competeing for Twitter's spot.
Thats where you come in. Right now I am mainly wanting to gauge interest and support in the project. If you are interested in donating or becoming a sponsor for the project, please also reach out! If you're interested in getting involved or just want to know more, let's chat. I'm @underlost. Or you can always send me an email.