Bokeh To Challenge Instagram

After Instagram

Do you wish for a better version of Instagram, not owned and operated by Facebook? Your wish may come true. A year ago, the Kickstarter project for Bokeh was fully funded. Development started, and though it’s taken longer than planned, there’s solid progress. I’m still intrigued by the potential of Bokeh. An official launch date hasn’t been announced, yet I’m eager to check it out!

Worthy Endeavor

The principles of Bokeh are promising:

  • Ad-free! Funded by the people and for the people.
  • Private! By default, your photos and info are yours; they’re never for sale.
  • Chronological! You and your friends’ photos in chrono order.
  • Anti-algorithm! See all photos, not just the ones some code thinks you should see.

Aren’t these ideas attractive? Yes, and not only that, the interface looks very nice. Go here for screen-shots!

Social Media needs to be removed or improved.

So I’m glad to see someone bold enough to undertake a project like Bokeh. Tim Smith, the creator, believes in this and took a risk. How moved to action must one be to take on the juggernaut Instagram?

Hear from Bokeh creator Tim Smith:

Bokeh is no half-hearted endeavor.

Bokeh is ambitious and aspirational; it’s got a hill to climb. I backed the Kickstarted project, and I’ll be glad to help Bokeh have a chance at success. I plan to use the Android app for it as soon as possible.

The Bigger Picture

Even if the app and service don’t reach the 1 billion mark, it could have a positive influence on Social Media. The idea that a social network should be a paid service, rather than free with ads, is not new. But it hasn’t caught on. At least not yet.

If nothing else, I hope Bokeh will inspire a trend of paid – ad-free – social networks. Why? So you and I can choose a more private network that does not sell us out to advertisers, investors, or shareholders.

Why else? Because Social Media is broken, which means it needs to be fixed or replaced. One way to try repairing it is through an ad-free subscription model.

Here’s another tangential question: must Instagram fail in order for Bokeh to succeed? Answer: No.

You see, it is unlikely that all the celebrities, influencers, and brands on Insta will flock to Bokeh. They’ve worked too long and hard to build their following to move away. And you know what? That’s OK! It could be just what Social Media really needs.

Bokeh has the prospect to become a the social network where you connect privately with your friends and family – that’s it!

  • No celebs
  • No brands
  • No influencers
  • No ads
  • No sponsored posts
  • No politics

You and I could interact only with those we know and trust. We could have a Timeline Feed that’s full of actual status updates! And the only “ads” would be genuine word-of-mouth posts from people we know and trust.

That’s the promise. That’s the potential.

Good Path Forward

Do you remember Path? It was a social network with a better focus on photos than Facebook. I wish it had succeeded. It aimed to eliminate the problem of you having too many friends on Facebook. The worthy goal of Path was to foster connecting with your closest friends and family – your small inner circle.

But Path took the ad-supported path; it led to a dead-end.

Bokeh does not have to be this way. It can succeed where Path failed. There’s precedent too. Other social networks came after Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and found success. Have you heard of Snapchat or TikTok?

I’ve been reading a book about the story behind Instagram called, No Filter, by Sarah Frier. It details the unique circumstances that caused Instagram to grow popular fast. Likewise, it’s possible that our culture is at an inflection point, primed for a new network like Bokeh.

When Bokeh launches, you need to sign-up for it right away. Why? Because if you are one of the first people to show up, you will get to claim your user name before it’s taken by someone else!

Check back here on Jason Journals as the launch of Bokeh approaches.

Are you willing to give Bokeh a try? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Facebook, Instagram, and Hunger Games

Reading Utopia

What do Facebook, Instagram, and the Hunger Games have in common? You might think about some kind of technological dystopia. Good guess, but no. They’re all books about to be released soon, and I’m planning to read them with gusto!

Three Big Ones

Here are the three books you’ve gotta check out, coming soon:

February 25th – First, Steven Levy’s new book will become widely available to devour. It’s a feast on the facts of Facebook: The Inside Story.

April 14th – Second, the social network that Facebook bought for a billion gets a tell-all book called No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram, authored by Sarah Frier.

May 19th – Third, the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is getting a prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, covering the beginnings of Panem’s evil leader, Snow.

What a line-up! Two non-fictions, one fiction. The first two are like a one-two combo punch about Zuckerberg and Social Media. Is it a coincidence that they’re so connected, similar, and releasing so close together? I wouldn’t be surprised.

And a book delving into the world of Panem, which brought us Katniss, is salsa on the chips!

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Future Is Written

I have anticipated new good books coming on the horizon before, but it’s always been one at a time. In the first half of 2020, I see three books heading straight at me. I can’t wait! My kindle paperwhite is ready!

These three books are sure to be popular among many, which just adds to the excitement. Who doesn’t love a good book to dive into? Reading is such a lovely experience as it engages your mind in a way that vegging out on Netflix or other forms of entertainment just can’t touch.

I have not read much lately; I must put down my Nintendo Switch for a short time in order to pick up each of these books and get lost in them. But it’ll be totally worth it.

Are you looking forward to these books this year or any others? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

The Instagram Alternative Is Kickstarted

Last month, I learned about Bokeh. It’s a cool new photo/social media app that promises to be better than Instagram. Started by a passionate developer, Bokeh has been funded on Kickstarter, reaching its initial financial goal. That means we may soon begin to enjoy what Instagram was or should have been!

Not long ago, I published an article about how Instagram lost its goodness and how I missed what it started out as. It was sort of a photo enthusiast sharing site like Flickr. Of course, it ended up quite different. So I deleted my Instagram account.

Bokeh seeks to fix what’s broken about Instagram. And now that it has been funded, the developer, Tim Smith, is hard at work bringing to life what could become The Next Big Thing. It’s an exciting time, and I’m happy for Tim who pushed to bring Bokeh this far!

Here are a few tidbits:

  • In just 30 days, Bokeh raised over $11,000 on Kickstarter!
  • Out of 229 total backers, I’m number 111!1
  • Estimated time of delivery for Bokeh is October 2019.

The initial screenshots look very nice. It begins with a not-so-subtle-red theme, which is a stark yet welcome departure from the blues of Twitter and Facebook.

The name itself, Bokeh, leads me to think that the social site will focus more heavily on photography than on celebrity influencer status – cough, Instagram, cough.

Bokeh sounds great! Imagine, a photo app that’s more about capturing images than attention.

That said, Bokeh promises to be about community too. It will include strong connecting or communicating features to help friends and family stay close online. This is compelling, a social site and service that strikes a balance between both pictures and people. Sign. Me Up.

I’m thankful for the privilege to help fund Bokeh as I support Tim Smith’s endeavors to build a better alternative to Instagram. I can’t wait to see how progress is made on the app and service, and I wish Tim all the best as he continues to work towards making this dream come true.

Are you interested in trying Bokeh or anything better than Instagram? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. I wish I had made it in under 100!

Twitter As Anti-Facebook

A simple little thought popped into my gray matter the other day. Instead of abandoning all social-media because it’s all mania, how about I promote Twitter as the single best alternative to Facebook?

The Last Network

This thought also formed into a question: Is Twitter the last viable social network outside of Facebook?

Since I deleted my Facebook and Instagram in the last few weeks, I have continued to enjoy Twitter despite its notorious “dumpster-fire” reputation. In my use, it’s not that bad.

But I have wondered if I might or should eventually delete Twitter too. For now, I like it well enough.

Yet this new thought occurred to me that maybe I should encourage my friends and family and acquaintances to “follow me on Twitter.” Why?

Because practically everyone is on Facebook and stuck using it, so when you ditch it, they may wonder how they’re supposed to connect with you. As if you don’t exist anymore.1

For a while, my imagined response was a shoulder shrug. But now, with this nifty new notion, it’s more like, “Hey, I’m still social; get on Twitter where I’m at!”

Kinda like, “Why am I not on Facebook? Well, why are you not on Twitter??” I’m sure that argument will go over like a lead balloon. Humor me.

The Small Network

In case you didn’t know, Facebook is bigger than the biggest country on our planet. It’s “population” doubles that of China’s, maybe more. I think the number is peaking at 2.3 billion!

In contrast, Twitter is like an island off the coast of the Facebook continent; it has only about 350 million users.

Even though Twitter is not ideal in some ways, I think its small social size is a feature with benefits. The number one being, it’s not too big so it’s not too powerful, unlike Facebook.

But maybe I’m deluding myself with cheerful cognitive dissonance.

Seriously though, I like Twitter and use it pretty much daily. I discover some good stuff there, mostly nice thoughts and web articles. With those, I also discover some nice people. I don’t follow many, so I guess that helps. Nor do I have many followers. So the signal-to-noise ratio is not bad for me.

Because of this, I think Twitter is a viable alternative to Facebook, maybe the last one if we’re gonna keep on using social-media. So now, part of my reason to keep using Twitter is as an active way to undermine Facebook’s grip on society.

Settling For Less Could Be More

Anyways, just thought I’d throw that out there. At worst, maybe my idea is the futile rambling of a blogger. But at best, it could be a value proposition, an incentive to encourage more people to leave Facebook and follow along on Twitter.

Yeah, maybe Twitter is the lesser of two evils. But if it’s better than “not existing” online, then maybe it’s worth more of a chance.

If you had to pick one: Facebook or Twitter? Which would you choose? Why? Leave a comment below. Or write me. Thanks for your time! Take care.

  1. I guess that’s a nice benefit if you just wanna disappear…

A Better Kind Of Instagram Called Bokeh

Recently, I deleted Instagram and lamented it’s downturn from photo sharing app to social mania app. But this week I discovered a new Instagram-like photo-social app that’s got key core values. It’s in Kickstarter, and I am a backer!

The key core values are:

  1. It’s private by default
  2. It’s ad-free forever
  3. It’s user-funded

Another key feature: it will have a chronological timeline instead of one fed by an algorithm.

And here’s a summary description:

An Instagram alternative to share photos with friends and family privately, see them in chronological order, and without creepy ads.

Some other good things Bokeh has going for it: public accounts will have an RSS feed, so it’s more indy-web based. And it will have custom domains!

So far, the user interface of the app looks nice. There’s a lot more to like about the potential of Bokeh. And while I am inclined to support anything to help unseat Facebook or Instagram, I am genuinely interested in Bokeh.

With so much to like, it’s hard to believe that an individual account will cost only $3 a month! I’ve been open to the idea of paying for a social network service before, simply to avoid the pitfalls of an ad-revenue based network. And now I’ve got a chance to help make such a model of social media a reality. So I’m glad to be a backer!

I encourage you to go check out Bokeh on Kickstarter! If you decide to pledge support like I did, you could get early access to the site, a discount to join, and a profile flair that shows your support!

If you believe social networks can be better than Instagram or Facebook, now’s your chance to do your part in making things better!

Did you check out the Kickstarter page for Bokeh? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment, or email me. Thanks for reading! Take care.