TAMPA — First things first: While you sip your cup of cocoa, coffee or green tea, take a moment to contemplate the developments of recent days: Europe’s economy is aflutter, the world didn’t end for the second time this year, and someone, yet again, has attempted the “Unthinkable.”
Consider the likelihoods:
A. Unthinkable: Psychological thriller of a film “centered around a black-ops interrogator and an FBI agent who press a suspect terrorist into divulging the location of three nuclear weapons set to detonate in the U.S.”
B. Unthinkable: Song with the lyrics, “You give me a feeling that I never felt before. And I deserve it, I think I deserve it. It’s becoming something that’s impossible to ignore.”
C. Unthinkable: Book that “tries to bring light into civilization’s darkest moments. Why do we freeze in the middle of a fire? How can we override this instinct? Why do our senses of sight and hearing change during a terrorist attack? Why are most heroes men?”
D. Unthinkable: Tampa firm attempts to “emancipate social media and unleash people’s extraordinary potential” as well as “spark a revolution that will change the world.”
E. All of the above.
Congratulations. No matter what you picked, you are correct – though for the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on D.
Tampa-based Unthink, which launched its beta this week, has done the unthinkable by creating a buzz that belies the fact it aims to agitate the foundation of a Mount Rushmore of communal techno-giants: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google.
Unthink describes itself as “an all-in-one social media platform that enables you to connect with the world around you and collaborate with others to bring the change you want to see in the world.”
If this sounds like a direct frontal assault on Facebook et al, it is – to put it mildly.
Unthink’s own words do not put it mildly at all, as it accuses Facebook of establishing “a social media cyber-monopoly that tramples on our rights and limits our freedoms.”
And more: “The history of Facebook is a history of arrogance and repeated exploitation of the people. Its dictatorship must end. Social media must turn in a new direction. The time has come for the people to rise up and declare their emancipation.”
Here are some reactions to Unthink’s provocative promotions:
The Washington Post: “Capitalizing on the anti-corporate sentiment of Occupy Wall Street, Unthink wants to be cause a ‘social revolution,’ and an ‘anti-Facebook,’ that will never infringe on users’ privacy. It opened for invite-only beta testing Tuesday (Oct. 25).”
Forbes: “Unthink is betting its future on anti-Facebook sentiment. In fact, the new social media start-up is not only basing its entire marketing strategy on how very much it is not Facebook, but the very inspiration for the site was based on the idea that Facebook was mistreating its customers.”
CNN: “Hoping to capitalize on frustrations with the social networking giant, not to mention some of the anti-corporate sentiment bubbling up on Wall Street and beyond, entrepreneurs have launched an upstart site called Unthink.”
ReadWriteWeb.com: “For Unthink or any other challenger to succeed, they have to get a critical mass of users. That’s going to take more than a spunky YouTube video and some attitude. If a critical mass of users decides to migrate to Unthink, then it has a chance to succeed. But how to get the critical mass?”
TechCrunch: “Scrappy outsider startup Unthink.com, which bills itself as the ‘anti-Facebook,’ is opening up its doors today (Oct. 25), allowing in its first round of beta testers. The Tampa-based company with $2.5 million in funding from Douglas Bay Capital sees itself as a more open, more honest form of social networking – one where its users are the owners of their data, and not the product being sold to advertisers.”
IT World: “Unthink aims to give you total control over the information you share, and vows to never alter that arrangement in the future. When you join you must agree to a 6,200-word ‘Deed’ and ‘Emancipation Covenants’ that detail what they will and won’t do with your data. Are you signing up for a social network or joining a religious cult? Maybe a little of both.”
RollingOut.com: “Facebook finally has competition coming, and some folk are taking notice because they tire of Facebook’s antics that, on the surface, seem questionable or unethical. Unthink.com is billing itself as the anti-Facebook in that it is an open and free form of communication social network site – and one that will not sell personal information to advertisers.”
TechNewsWorld.com: “The creators of a new social network are challenging users to ditch Facebook and other networks to ‘unthink’ and de-clutter with their new, completely user-controlled and private network. Unthink.com, launched Tuesday (Oct. 25) in beta, hopes to capitalize on growing discontent among social network users for support.”
SheKnows.com: “Anyone else tired of Facebook? The ads, the monotony and the always-changing privacy settings? Well, enter Unthink, what seems to be a half-decent alternative that might just become your new best friend.”
Fox 13 News: “Part of Unthink’s success has been positive reviews on technology websites all across the globe.”
Tampa Bay Business Journal: “Now that Unthink’s up and running, the world will be watching to see if they can deliver on the lofty promises.”
St. Petersburg Times: “A Tampa start-up called Unthink caught my eye because it’s billing itself as the Anti-Facebook. Calling it a David versus Goliath story would be an exaggeration. This is a pimple on the side of a whale. And that’s why I like it.”
There you have it. “The buzz.” But buzz won’t make – or unmake – Unthink. Each individual consumer signing up will, in effect, be voting on whether the social media newcomer is a potential power or a merely passing fancy. Time will tell. And so will you.