Freedom/Privacy

There’s an alternative to Facebook: 8 steps to make MeWe work

Facebook sucks. Here are some practical steps to help us replace it.

Facebook sucks

Google [facebook sucks] and it returns 188 million results.

Admit it – you hate Facebook. We all hate Facebook, even if we love/hate it. Even if we use it daily, even if we think we need it to stay in touch with friends, family, important community groups, whatever. We bitch about how their sociopathic owner lies and cheats and sells our private data against our wishes. We bitch about the advertising. We bitch about the manipulation. We bitch about how how they keep fucking with the interface with each new “enhancement.” And on. And on. And on. We wish there were an alternative. God, I’d dump the place in a heartbeat if there were something to replace it.

Well, there is. It’s a new social network called MeWe and using it is very much like your Facebook experience. Only better in every way. It’s easy to set up, easy to invite people, easy to post, and there are zillions of interesting groups already. You can create your own group and managing it is a piece of cake. MeWe also has a couple nifty features Facebook doesn’t.

MeWe screen shot

And they don’t collect and sell your data. In fact, being the network that protects your privacy is the point. They make money by selling stuff, and you control that. You never have to spend a penny.

MeWe adoption is rising, but it needs to rise faster. A lot of folks seem to sign up, look around, then … not do anything.

So I’m here with some tried and true tips to make MeWe (or any other social network, for that matter) work for you. Do these things today.

1: Take the time to actually set up your account.

Fill out your profile and tell people about you. You don’t have to write a dissertation (and in fact MeWe’s profile options are a lot more streamlined than FB’s anyway), but include your interests, where you live, something. Just let others know you’re a person.

2: Add pictures.

Here’s what the default page looks like if you don’t.

MeWe-screen-shot

That user icon and the background photo are stock. Nothing says take me seriously like a picture of Smiley McToastface and a generic landscape, huh? Is that what you have on your Facebook page?

Upload a user pic, just like you did with FB, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other sites you use. Then use that background image space to project a bit of your personality.

Here’s mine.

MeWe screen shot Sam page

I have a cool light painting shot my buddy Dan Chick did of me. I’m wearing a Chelsea FC strip. The background is one of my recent macro photographs. Right away you have at least a slight idea of me and a face to put with the name.

3. Invite your Facebook friends.

And share this with them when you do, because a lot of folks are hesitant. They’ll be more likely to migrate over if they know you’re there and using it.

4. Use MeWe!

Look around and join some interesting groups (although like every other damned place on the Internet MeWe has its share of undesirables; avoid them). I’m on a few photography groups and I created a Chelsea group, which is growing steadily.

Specifically, use MeWe like you do Facebook. That funny cat photo you shared on FB? Share it on MeWe. You post an article on something political that pisses you off? Post it on MeWe. Your friend’s band has a new album? Post it on MeWe.

In other words, everything you do on Facebook, do it on MeWe, too.

And if you’ve joined groups of people who share your interests, you can post the cat pic, a link to the album (and maybe a review) and your political outrage to said groups.

5. Make new friends.

Yeah, we want to port our Facebook world over, but part of what’s cool about social networks is that you can meet new people. I have people I consider good friends – legit friends, not just people I know online – that I’ve never met in person. Our whole relationship has been framed by the social net. So you may find people in groups who you think are on your wavelength. Friend them. And if you’re posting to groups you’ll get friend invites. Accept them.

Then engage with them. Maybe it goes nowhere, or maybe it does. No pressure either way.

6. MeWe first.

This is a big one. Don’t treat MeWe as an afterthought. In the morning, if that’s when you log into your social nets, visit MeWe before Facebook. Engage with friends, new and old. Share a story or a video or a stupid meme. Then head over to Facebook if you want. If there’s something cool there, copy the link and bring it back to MeWe.

Because a social network becomes important only when we treat it as important.

7. Tell your friends.

This article is a good starter, but whatever. Just tell folks on FB and your other hangouts that you’ve started up with this new place called MeWe and they should check it out. Give them your page URL so they can find and friend you. Then carp at them to do their profile and add pics and, you know, all the stuff I talk about here.

8. Be patient.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Facebook. MeWe won’t be, either.

Once upon a time you’d never heard of Facebook. And it took a while for you to get from sign-up to the fully borged place you are with them now.

So don’t expect everything at once. Don’t walk in, get frustrated because they don’t throw you a party on day 1 and give up. Social networks succeed because we invest. We are the content and we’re the crucial marketing piece.

Follow the steps above, be consistent, and over time MeWe will begin taking over the place Facebook currently occupies.

And it won’t eat your soul when it does.

Drop by and see me. I’m Doc Wintersmith at mewe.com/i/docwintersmith.

Facebook-MeWe

10 replies »

  1. How’s this for funny? I’m glad of the reminder. I need to pop over there and start treating MeWe like the opportunity it is. After I settle in from work a bit, I might just do that. And I would *love* to share this article on Facebook, but, alas, I cannot. Not until about 2:30 in the morning. See, I was up late last night making progress on a project, and when I was done-ish,I wound down on Facebook for a bit, as I do. The “Most Recent” view was wee hours quiet. I’d seen what was to be seen. Facebook’s little prompt on the right side of the feed caught my eye. They prompted what follows. “Suggested Groups,” they said. And they weren’t off by much. They had my attention. My feed was running dry, and hey, shiny new groups! Just the thing! Thank you, Facebook! So I went down the suggested groups rabbit hole and I think I did exactly what they wanted me to do. I let what they were showing me click with other ideas so I could branch out and add more groups. And what a funny thing occurred to me, given my new career pursuit at the law office I’m at now…I thought, “maybe some law related groups might be a good idea.” So I went merrily clicking along, adding this group and that group and groups only tangentially related, and some groups about other things entirely, and not once did Facebook put up a speed limit sign. I hit Facebook’s Autobahn and gunned all twelve cylinders, just as they enticed me to do with their “Autobahn this way” sign. I went to bed after my white-knuckle Facebook social-medaing-the-shit-out-of-it like they wanted me to spree.

    And when I got up this morning, I wasn’t permitted to like a post. I got a pop up message that I’d been blocked from all things (maybe not including chat?) Facebook because apparently joining many different groups rapidly somehow constitutes spam and suspicious activity.

    After my farcical experience with Office Depot over the last five days, I’m kind of torn as to which exhibits the greater incompetence at their core mission.

  2. Really enjoying the MeWe articles you’ve written. I joined MeWe just over two years ago. It has improved far more in the two years I have been on it than in the many years I have been on fb. (fb has deteriorated) I am very glad to see it get the attention it deserves. I find the groups far superior to fb, and much less ‘reshares’ of every, single, freaking meme a million times over, really just so much better on so many levels. *cheers*

  3. I’ve been on MeWe just over two years now, and it has improved leaps and bounds in that period of time. The work done on it, the refinement of the look and various tweaks have been quickly implemented and I enjoy it far more than fb. I love the functionality of the groups, the focus on posts themselves and not just reshares of the same meme that everyone else is sharing. Thanks for writing these articles, it’s good to see MeWe get the attention it deserves.

  4. How do I put pictures in albums without having to actually post them? I want to move everything I have in FB, delete the account and use MeWe exclusively but it’s kind of a pain having to post everything and clog my friend’s feed to get it there.

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