That is where Mexus stands out, we are not catering to advertisers instead we cater to the things our users want. I hear you, not another username and password to remember. Most of us are burned out with having to create a new account and remember yet another password. I get it, too many things going in life to waste on one more social media platform.
So let me tell you why I am excited about Mexus. It all comes down to the ubiquitous family sharing refrigerator door. Remember how proud you were when your mom pinned your artwork on the refrigerator door? Remember the Christmas card traded between families highlighting your families’ vacation adventures and school accomplishments?
Social media took the family refrigerator door and expanded it across a larger audience. It was exciting to reconnect with old friends and share life’s moments with those, you care about. As Facebook evolved, it unfortunately had a side effect; it got noisy.
Noise in the form of irrelevant advertising and wall posts that you didn’t care about began to push down the family and friends updates until they were finally replaced by things that didn’t matter to you. More importantly was that as excited as you were to share your kid’s adventures it was sobering to wonder if that cute post of your kid’s latest escapade, or misadventure would come back to haunt your family at a later date.
Facebook and social media have all of the potential to share your life with those you care about but with the sharing comes the dangers of abuse. Because I miss the family and friend sharing without all of the noise I set out to create a social sharing platform that would allow me to do so in a fun and secure fashion.
First, I had two significant problems to overcome. The first is that Facebook is successful because it has so many people on it. Because of the sheer numbers, it is difficult to convince individuals to create a new account on another platform because, let us face it; it’s not fun when you are the only one sharing information with yourself. It is hard enough to convince one person to create yet another account and it is much more difficult to get family and friends to do the same.
As I pondered this, I realized that eventually Mexus would have to generate revenues in order to stay alive. No one is going to pay to join a sharing app. Using advertising revenues to fund the social media tool would only result in the noise that was distracting on Facebook, that was driving me away.
This was my second problem, how would I pay for it?
As I thought about these two seemingly insurmountable problems, I eventually realized that they were not problems but rather they were solutions. They were solutions because individually they were problems but put together they became the solution to the overall obstacle of making Mexus sustainable over the long term without relying on advertising.
The first issue to overcome was getting individuals to come over to Mexus and create an account. An arduous process that many have tried and failed at. The assumption in the industry is that a new system needs significant signups in order to trend on the Internet. The more signups in the shortest amount of time results in the greatest buzz is the thought in Internet application launches. The more buzz the more successful the social media platform becomes. Then I realized that the more signups the more expensive the website becomes to maintain because of the costs involved in hosting and user support. Rising expenses would immediately force me to seek revenues to sustain it leading to the noise of advertising that I was trying to avoid.
If I controlled growth then I could self-fund the project. Controlling the growth would allow me to forgo having to generate revenues to keep Mexus going. Initially this seemed counterproductive because the business model for social media benchmarks against user growth in the shortest amount of time. However, I asked myself why care about how fast it grows since I’m not selling advertising and therefore it really didn’t matter how fast it grew.
My goal with Mexus is to create a social media-sharing app where families can safely share their life’s moments with friends and family without the fear of their life becoming an advertisers targeted marketing. A family friendly sharing site where a father or mother can safely share their child’s latest accomplishment requires giving the parents complete control over what they share online.
A private family sharing network became the goal for Mexus.
At that appoint all of the problems became solutions. Accepting that it would take lots of time to convince individuals to sign up for Mexus solved the issue of paying for the growth. Slow and controlled growth would allow me to put the issue of paying for the platform to the end of the problem list. Controlling growth also has a beneficial side effect.
Slow and controlled growth translates into quality content and reduces distracting noise. Since it takes an effort to create an account on Mexus, it means that only those individuals wanting to find an alternative to Facebook would sign up. Those individuals that took the step of signing up would in turn want their close family and friends to come share with them on Mexus. This has the added benefit of keeping me from having to invest in advertising for users because the users that sign up now become Mexus’ ambassadors for seeking new user sign ups.
As each new member signs up they become invested in Mexus. Through organic growth Mexus becomes the virtual refrigerator door for today’s digital families. Controlled growth and an invested membership translates into reduced overhead and an engaged membership creating quality content that benefits the Mexus ecosystem.
To ensure the privacy that the membership seeks, Mexus had to become a walled garden where the content is only shared with those the creator wants to see it. As a walled garden, where each member determines who they friend and who sees their content, the spammers and hackers have no incentive to ply their content on Mexus better insulting the user base from Internet abuse.
However, I still needed to figure out how to pay the bills.
I could not do it through selling advertising because that defeated the whole issue of noise on Facebook. Members will not pay for using an online social sharing platform because individuals are used to free Internet apps. That is when I realized that the open-source model was the answer to Mexus.
Open source software is software that is developed in a collaborative environment by many individuals. Collaborative development allows many individuals to collaborate on a product that benefits not only the developers but also a larger community.
Mexus, rather than being an open source software development project would, instead, become a collaborative community for individuals looking for a safe and secure social media platform. The collaborative nature of Mexus would have the benefit of an invested community that would self-police itself and more importantly would want to see Mexus succeed for their own benefit.
That is where Wikimedia solved the final hurdle – how to fund Mexus.
Most of you know Wikimedia as Wikipedia. Although Wikimedia is a non-profit, it is unlike traditional non-profits. Traditional non-profits raise money, through donations, to give to social causes. Individuals donate money that is then distributed to others. The Wikimedia model, on the other hand, harnesses thousands of individuals to create content for their own benefits. Open source collaboration at its best. This same collective of individuals, along with others that support the concept, donate to the non-profit to pay the bills to keep Wikipedia online. A self-perpetuating business model where the members are invested in seeing the project succeed.
As each new member engages on Mexus that member becomes invested in the success of Mexus. Because the growth is controlled by the membership, it gives me time, with the help of the membership, to create a non-profit foundation with the only goal being the success of Mexus as the family safe social-media platform. Because of my personal need to get away from the noise yet share with those I care about, I am prepared to incubate Mexus until it reaches the critical mass it needs to succeed on its own.
When Mexus reaches critical mass, it will be the active and engaged membership that will ensure its continued success through a non-profit foundation. Who knows, the collaborative nature of Mexus may allow for a better funding model to materialize.
I do not intend Mexus to usurp Facebook as the dominant social media platform because it is a place for people who want the content many of us feel is nothing more than social media noise. Facebook excels in size and noise. Instead, I want Mexus to be the social media-sharing app for those looking for a quiet place to share online with family and friends their life’s special moments secure in the knowledge that the sharing would not come to haunt them at a later date. I want Mexus to be the sharing community where each member feels they have a voice in the success of the community.
Ultimately, the success of Mexus depends on the users who find it useful for their online activities. There have been many other attempts in allowing members more control over their personal content on sharing sites. In my opinion, many of those failed because they either depended on advertising or membership fees to stay operational or required individuals to create their own sharing pods to share online. Individuals looking for a Facebook alternative do not want to pay for it and do not want to deal with setting up their own software to make it work. They want an online tool where they can share without all of the noise that has taken over Facebook.
Mexus; It’s your life, own it! Mexus officially is accepting new members today.
“And I promise to donate any profits to charity.” Or was it Paul Foster who said that about Mountain Star?
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