What if social media didn’t lock us up in online echo chambers and exploit users for their data? What if social networks were not funded by advertising or dictated by algorithms? What if they didn’t exist to line shareholders' pockets? What if, instead, it actually did what it says on the ‘social network’ tin?
What if there was a social network that helped to build and strengthen communities? That is the vision for Campfire Convention, a new kind of conscious social media that works for its members – one that seeds new ideas and social change for the benefit of all.
In the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is now clear that the 'surveillance capitalism' model of social media as an advertising platform built on monetising users' data is unsustainable.
The full implications of us choosing a digital advertising platform as our presumed safe space in which to spill all our most intimate thoughts, hopes, fears and passions are only now being realised. It creates a forum in which the owners of a gigantic operation rule the social media world - arguably the wider world too - for their own ends and for shareholder profit.
We are proposing a radical new model for social networking called Campfire Convention. We have launched a crowdfund campaign, seeking a modest £25k for a technology upgrade needed to put in place a 'karma plan' that will reward users for their involvement. We also plan to launch a platform cooperative, where we will invite members to buy a stake in the world's first non-exploitative social network.
We already have a track record. We have an active network online and a membership that is steadily growing by word of mouth - even though we have yet to launch officially. We are already organising face-to-face events. Our 'Beacons' events are looking at templates for organising productive meetings, working out how to stage citizens' assemblies and getting involved in initiatives with the homeless.
We have a Firestarter (Big Chill founder Pete Lawrence) - working full time, a few occasional contributors and volunteers, and one part-time developer. Although not comparable in any way, Facebook, as of December 2018, had 35,587 employees.
Campfire, like The Big Chill before it, is about interaction and fun - but there is also a deeper purpose. It can offer real life experience in a community setting. It will help members learn from each other at real life events and it will offer opportunities to create, co-ordinate or join groups and initiatives.
Campfire is positioned to facilitate the process of social change. That change starts with each and every one of us, in the way we choose to live our lives and how we interact with those around us.
This is all about handing on to the community and shaping a truly modern co-operative that can pioneer a new model for a community network as we enter a post-capitalist era.
Help us share. Together we can get to where we want to be.
About Campfire https://www.campfireconvention.uk/content/about-campfire
Support us : our Membership model https://www.campfireconvention.uk/content/support-campfire