Yup, we have all heard it on TV, in movies. In the left corner weighing ……. Yada, yada, yada. The beginning of a match. You heard it, but did you realise it? It hit me today, I was thinking back to the good old days (Google Plus), it had a side others ignored and they are still ignoring it. I joined Facebook in 2004, or was it 2003? The setting was that I was travelling the globe, most of the direct family (when they were still alive) had a travelling bug. As such Facebook was part of a solution, yet it turned out that Google Plus was a much better fit. Reality shows that I have 2 best friends, I have a number of ‘sort of friends’ and I have relatives. Apart from the relative members I would happily shoot with an M-24, I did try to stay in touch with those I had no need to shoot and then time caught up with them and they died.
Time is the eternal equaliser and it will claim me too at some point (once). Yet today I considered how the need for greed of Facebook is leaving an untapped side to social media. They were all about boasting that everyone wants to know everything (better for advertisement), yet the foundation of Google plus was that you decided to give to certain circles, and family is its own circle. Facebook forgot about that part and the others that followed Facebook is overlooking that too (as far as I can tell). You see, the world is not interested in the desk you bought (unless it comes with a naked lady) and then they are merely interested in how visible the nudity of the lady is. But family members are different, they are interested in your new desk, your new quilt cover, especially when there is more than an hour of travel time involved. Some are a lot further away and they want to see the birthday pics of your little one, the rest of the world has no business to see those. So why did social media evolve into an advertisement space where we see all no matter how trivial, or how convoluted the message?
And as far as I could tell there was no one, at least that was the case, former Facebook employees caught on and created Cocoon. It is not free, it will cost you $39.99 USD per year, yet as they say (at cocoon.com) “Thirty days after you create a Cocoon, one person in the group will need to sponsor it on everyone’s behalf to keep it going. You don’t need to decide upfront whether to pay for Cocoon, only after you reach the end of your trial period. A Cocoon costs $5.99 USD per month or $39.99 USD per year for the entire group”, so one family member pays the amount of slightly less than $40 a year to keep it going and only ONE member needs to pay. That is a very different story and it is one that could take off. So as we get “The app itself does not cost money to download. Pricing is per Cocoon, not per person, and you can be in as many Cocoons as you would like”, it is actually brilliant, to get back to the true foundations of social media, of true socialising and I am amazed that others had not caught on here. Consider a family with nieces, nephews and other riffraff (read: family members) and one price per family. I am decently amazed that they have not cornered that industry yet, because as I see it that setup could grow far and fast over the next three years. As Google lost its Plus side, Cocoon might be all that remains for a lot of people who are sick of the 17 advertisements an hour and the nobodies who have something not so nice to say about your niece’s new dress or your nephew’s new bike. Yes we all make fun of family, yet that is the right of a family member, to say to auntie bertha that her hat went out of fashion when Black and White TV’s did.
I am equally aware that Cocoon is not advertising, which is debatable as a choice, because there are globally millions who have had enough of Facebook in some regard. I am not totally against Facebook, it has its space and its function when it is about schools, friends that are not family members. And with Google Plus out of the equation Cocoon has a much larger stage to play on. And as they end their sales pitch with “You can be in as many Cocoons as you’d like, but they’ll remain separate from each other and you can navigate between them using the Cocoon switcher. Your nickname, picture, and colour are distinct in each, and contents from one Cocoon can’t be shared or forwarded into another.” We can clearly see that they are on the right track, they are heading into a direction where Social media should have headed in to a much larger degree than it has been doing. If there is one downside it will be the case that I can have it on my iPad, but not on a MacBook. At times I prefer to do my socialising on something with a decent keyboard, I am just wired that way, but that is me, some will find the iPad, android phone and/or iPhone sufficient. I also believe there are a few flaws in the initial stage, but that might be me (I don’t think so though), as such it is a great setting and it does have a real future on a stage where people are being drowned on advertisement and personalised information mining. Yet cocoon is new and fresh, just like the 1985 movie which was all about family as well.
When you have a family that you do not want to shoot at a moment’s notice, Cocoon is a bright choice in a field where most choices are smitten with some level of darkness.