Blog Oklahoma Podcast 061: MeWe

In this episode we take a look at a new social network, MeWe.

Welcome to Blog Oklahoma

mewe

With the closure of Google+ and a growing dissatisfaction with Facebook and Twitter many people are looking for an alternative. Well one such alternative is MeWe at mewe.com.

MeWe has the functions you expect of a social network: the ability to post text, photos and videos; share links; and chat with your friends. What makes MeWe unique is it's stand on privacy.

MeWe began as an idea over dinner between friends. They were troubled on how large companies were treating people and their data as a commodity. On how when someone signs up for a service they are tracked, advertised to, and their information sold to the highest bidder. With all this in mind, MeWe founder Mark Weinstein put together a team to build a social network with privacy built in. After years of development, MeWe was launched in 2016.

They established a Privacy Bill of Rights for all of their members. Basically saying your data is yours and not theirs. And they have no advertising on their site. That's right, no ads.

Now you might be wondering how they make money if they're not advertising. Well they sell things like extra cloud storage space, custom emojis and themes, and other special features. All of which are very optional. MeWe is free to use and feature rich.

So let's talk about those features and how you use MeWe. Now I'm going to be giving you the broad overview here. Just enough to get you started.

First if you're not already, you'll need to sign up. All you need is to type in your name and an email address. You'll receive an activation link in your email, click it, and you're done. That's it. That's how simple it is to get your account started.

Once you're in you can set your avatar and anything else you'd like to share in your profile. It's all optional.

All the basic social network posting options are available to you. You can type in text, upload pictures and videos, and share links. When you post you have the option to make it public for everyone to see or just show it to your contacts.

At the top of the site you'll see a few links: Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. Let's call these your primary tabs. MeWe has done something here that I kind of like, they have your feeds all separated under the different tabs. Home only shows you your Contacts posts, Groups shows you posts from the Groups you've joined, and Pages shows you posts from the Pages you've followed. The Events tab is basically your MeWe calendar. And Chats is your realtime chat. You can chat with people privately or on a Group level.

When you want to find people to connect with or groups to join, just use the search box at the top of the site.

This new social network's user base has been growing rapidly. Especially with Google+'s imminent closure, Facebook's privacy violations, and recent policy changes at Tumblr. It's all kind of happening all at once.

In fact, to help people transition from Google+ to MeWe, it was announced just recently that MeWe will be providing a tool to import your Google+ data. The tool should be available in early March.

I've already downloaded my Google+ data, so when this tool is ready I'll be testing it out for sure. I'll have link to how to download your Google+ data in the show notes. Oh quick reminder, when you do download it be sure to get it in JSON format. That's important.

I've been using MeWe for a few months now. There are definitely pros and cons with the service.

For me the pros are

  • It's not difficult to use.
  • No advertising. That's a big plus.
  • I like their privacy policy.
  • The iOS and Android apps are well laid out and easy to use.
  • You can use Markdown in your text posts. You know I like that.
  • I like the live chat features.
  • And you can see what people are posting. No Facebook like algorithm.

Now the cons for me

  • I'm not a fan of the website's design. It feels outdated to me.
  • The user base is just not there, yet. Yes more people are joining everyday, but unless you're moving there with a group or happen to know people already on it, finding people to connect with is a challenge.
  • The Pages section is still in beta and full of unofficial pages. So be sure to double check things before clicking that follow button.
  • Launching new open Groups isn't easy since you have to more than 5 people in your Group just to be listed in search. So there's no discovery but word-of-mouth for new Groups launching.

I have a few more nitpicks about the service, but they're trivial. So we'll move on.

MeWe as a whole is a fine service. I don't dislike it, but I'm not in love with it either. They're continuing to improve their services, add new features, and as more people join I'm sure there's an opportunity to grow a real community.

I've started an Exploring Oklahoma History group that is growing. I've launched a group for the Blog Oklahoma Podcast, and plan to start even more Oklahoma based groups. It might take time to grown, but it will be fun to try.

So are you going to give MeWe a try? I hope you do, and please let me know what you think of the service. You can leave a comment under the show notes or share your thoughts with me at all the social spaces including the Blog Oklahoma Podcast Group on MeWe.

This episode's writing suggestion

... is to share what you think of MeWe. I look forward to reading what you think of the service.

Links from this episode

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Well sorry it took a little bit longer to put together this episode. I am for now attempting to at least get an episode out every other week. Someday I hope I can get back to a weekly schedule.

I plan to do some more Blog Oklahoma Bonus episodes, but I think I may change up how I'm doing them. I'm still mapping out some ideas.

The reason it took so long for me to do this MeWe review is I rewrote it about six times. I wanted it to be a fair and honest review. And hopefully I've done that. When I started with was to answer the question, "am I going to stay on MeWe?"

Honestly before I started writing up my review I was certain I was going to leave MeWe.

I'm already on other social networks, do I need to add one more. Well I do love exploring these new services, so it was an easy answer for that one. Yes, one more won't hurt. Who knows maybe this one could be the one to take on Facebook.

Another reason I was thinking I was going to leave was because I was very dissatisfied with the selection of Oklahoma Groups. These are definitely not anyone I wanted to associate with. I kind of had a knee jerk reaction. I was about to condemn a brand new platform over the actions of a select few. That's not fair. This particular set of individuals moved to MeWe early. That's all. They don't define MeWe and they definitely don't define Oklahoma.

So I'm going to stay on MeWe for a while. I plan to launch some more positive Oklahoma groups and hope to build on those communities. As I said in my review it's going to be fun to try. So again I hope you give MeWe a try. And please join the Blog Oklahoma Podcast Group when you do.

Also this episode may sound a little different. I had to switch microphones from my MXL 990 to my backup Behringer Ultravoice XM18005 microphone.

This episode's bonus interesting articles

This episode's bonus musical selection

You can listen To the Blog Oklahoma Bonus playlist on Spotify. Enjoy.

Blog Oklahoma

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