Robert W. Gehl, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah
Welcome to the S-MAP, the Social Media Alternatives Project!
I’ve conceived of this project because of my research interests in alternative social media. That is, sites that are built due to criticisms of mainstream social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Inspired in great part by the Unlike Us network, I’ve been researching sites such as Lorea, Twister, Diaspora, Quitter, and social networks on the dark web. I’ve begun publishing this research in journals and edited collections.
However, I’ve noticed a major problem: many of these sites disappear. For example, the social network I discuss in “Power/Freedom on the Dark Web” appears to be gone forever. Previously, I wrote about TalkOpen, a Twitter alternative, which also is offline. Because I’ve saved materials about these sites in Zotero (screenshots and interviews, mainly), I realize I have a very rare record of these sites, a record that does not appear in the Internet Archive.
Thus I have decided to begin systematically archiving materials related to social media alternatives. I also intend to blog about them here. Below is my overall rationale for doing so. Please watch this site for updates, and watch my Omeka site for materials! Continue reading The Need for Social Media Alternatives