Why is Facebook so popular? It’s quite simple, really. People love to talk about themselves. Oversharing is an innate desire, driven by narcissism and rewarded by approval. This reward system causes the same brain activity that occurs when you eat bacon or when you’re makin’ bacon.
This article from MSNBC.com discusses a study that found that sharing on Facebook can be as satisfying as sex. Even the most shy person’s heart can go aflutter with a little TMI.
It’s easy to see what’s at play here. This desire for acceptance from others satisfies a basic human need. All those comments and likes garnered by revealing yourself on Facebook provide nuggets of excitement; they build up your self esteem. The irony is that despite feeling good about broadcasting yourself via social media, you can end up feeling more isolated.
Oversharing can’t contribute to your well-being like one-on-one communication can. You achieve true fulfillment from close relationships with friends and family, not by pursuing the insignificant rewards earned by sharing the minutia of your life.
Propinquity is all about proximity. Simply put, you have a greater tendency to build a relationship with those that you are physically or psychologically near.
How does this pertain to Glassboard? Because with the rise of small social networks, there is a greater acknowledgment of meaningful online relationships. When interacting with a group (or ‘board’ as we call it) on Glassboard, it’s a virtual representation of a meeting taking place in a boardroom. With closed doors and comfy chairs. And cookies.
This sort of encapsulation within the app is a quality that enables propinquity. Glassboard acts as a tool not just for collaboration but also as a means of enriching your relationship with coworkers, clients, and customers.
Large social networks like Facebook, on the other hand, are focused on broadcasting things about your life (sometimes passively, without real interaction on your part). As social networks grow smaller the conversations are more dedicated to shared goals and interests, like scouting a venue for an event or providing feedback on a document. Relationships are built around two-way communication, not by shouting things into an abyss.
Ian Fleming is the one who originally stated “nothing propinks like propinquity.” You may have heard of him. This line was then adopted by George Ball, an American diplomat. He used the line to refer to the fact that the more direct access you have to the president of the United States, the greater your power, no matter what your title actually is.
Having direct access to those you care most about reaching makes Glassboard empowering.
I love a major launch like this. The flood of feedback has been very helpful to us on how we can improve future versions of Glassboard. Many thanks for the bug reports, feedback, and suggestions you’ve provided. Here’s the list of top things we learned from you:
1. You are very curious about how we’re going to make money.
Overwhelmingly people are asking about our revenue stream. And the question is always posed in good faith, to the effect of, “I love Glassboard but if you don’t make money doesn’t that mean you’ll disappear?” For right now, we want to grow our user base. Our goal then will be to adhere to a freemium business model: there will be snazzy features you can pay extra for but the base version will stay free. Here is a blog post we did that goes into more detail.
2. You want to edit and delete posts.
This is the number one feature people are asking for, and rightfully so. It can be frustrating to post something incorrect and have no way of remedying it. This feature simply didn’t make it into 2.0, but we’d love to have it in a future version of the app.
3. The app looks nice and all, but you’re not sure how you would use it.
There is a point where Glassboard just clicks. For me personally I didn’t use it with friends until recently, when we started a Concerts board to share pics and video from shows we go to. It’s a great way to find each other too. There will come a point in time where you’ll want to share things with a small group and Glassboard will be the perfect fit. As John Gruber points out:
“I didn’t get it at first. Just didn’t see how I’d use it. But then I went to a weekend-long conference where a dozen or so of my friends set up a board on Glassboard. We shared notes, jokes, links, and things like where we were going to eat and drink. All of it private, with instant SMS-like notification of new messages and comments. Now I don’t know what I’d do without Glassboard.”
4. You don’t really see how we’re different from Path/Everyme/et al.
There are a number of small social networks out there like us, and they all provide different utility to users. Essentially Glassboard is most useful for small teams and businesses that would like a better way to collaborate than email. But it’s also good for other things like conferences and college courses. It comes down to what you want in an app. Do you want discretion and privacy? That’s Glassboard. Do you want Facebook and LinkedIn integration? You’ll have to go with Everyme. I go into more detail about Glassboard vs. other apps on Quora: Path; Everyme.
5. You think the app is useless or ugly.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it’s much appreciated if you are able to back it up with logic or at the very least some snark. And if you mention it in a public forum like Twitter, I will likely respond because my snark-fu is STRONG. If you mention how you hate Glassboard on Glassboard, well you’re in luck because we will never see it.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments or target @glassboard on Twitter!
[Movie trailer guy voice]: THIS SUMMER. IN A WORLD. GLASSBOARD, THE KILLER APP, EMERGES TO TAKE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS AND EMAIL **explosions**
Read more here.
Here’s what’s new:
Reply Via Email
Easier to get people on boards
Photos and Videos Gallery
There are plenty more changes we haven’t highlighted here, but you’ll see them when you try it out.