Keeping something for yourself – where Review4U can fit into social web

A new year, a new obsession.

Since I blogged about the concept of Review4U last year (ok, so I’ve ‘digitised’ the title), I have been amazed at the response I’ve received from people eager to know more about how it worked. Honestly, I’m still trying to puzzle it out myself.

It seems that while social networking has its place, allowing people to communicate better and faster than ever, there is still a yearning for a platform where personal ideas and content that people don’t want to share can be stored – a kind of ‘anti-social’ platform. How many times have you seen postings on various social networks and thought “did they really have to post that?”. Aside from the chance that person really did want you to see their post, did they really post it for themselves because they don’t have an alternative place to access it easily or comfortably?

I don’t think what I’m advocating here is isolationism, but an alternative to using a public forum (your Facebook profile or Twitter account) to store memories or ideas. While great ideas don’t develop in a vacuum, having a diary or a physical photo album doesn’t make you an introvert – it allows you some personal space.

Can Review4U work as a digital diary?
Can Review4U work as a digital diary?

I’m big on balance. I love a drink, but balance it out with periods of non-drinking. I enjoy food but balance it with exercise. The idea that you can balance aspects of your life is a common thing for many, so I see the idea of Review4U being the balance to social networking – one allows you to share and communicate, the other allows you some privacy to form ideas and store memories.

Many of you reading this are thinking, ‘well, why don’t you store everything on an external harddrive or on Dropbox’. While that works (and I think Dropbox is the closest step toward a Review4U platform I’ve seen so far), they have their own problems. Think of a diary, where you record personal thoughts. Would store your photos and thoughts in a filing cabinet? Or would you have it a beautifully-bound book? Presentation and design are as important to Review4U as the literal idea of storing content. But so does trust – once platforms grow bigger than their initial intentions, can they guarantee to keep the trust of their users?

What do you think? Have you seen a website or platform that allows the same feeling of a diary without the social aspect? I’d like to see where this idea can go.

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