Finally, a way to razz friends without "superpoking" them.
I'll be the first to admit that I've never "superpoked" on Facebook. I know it's some sort of "throw a sheep over the wall" superficial cyber challenge. I don't exactly understand it beyond the un-friending threats I've made to my Facebook network whenever someone has lobbed one in my direction.
However, earlier this week I found a social network challenge with which I could get on board when Twitter buddy Nate Ritter threw out JealousBrother.com to his feed. The new social network, which launched only about three weeks ago, presents and allows users to create rivalries on which other users can take a side, and then participate in healthy debate. It's a nice break away from some of the social networks (outside of lifestreaming and microblogging networks) that allow people to engage with individuals far beyond their own networks without being intrusive.
Why another "fun" social network?
"Most social networks allow you to communicate with friends, family, and potential new friends. JealousBrother.com allows the same interaction but encourages discussion, debate and, above all,disagreement," said Ryan Kazinec, founder. "Aside from the comedic relief that holds true to the background of the idea, serious issues will be put in front of the firing squad of users. People are passionate about their views and we are hoping they will use that passion to support their arguments and possibly educate and influence others in the process."
Some of the rivalries I've liked or participated in since joining the site last week include:
- What would you rather wake up to? A ghost or an intruder?
- Social Media Jobs - Here to Stay vs. Social Media Jobs - On Their Way
- George W. Bush - Dubya vs. Richard Nixon - Tricky Dick
- Retired Brett Favre vs. Jet Brett Favre
- Michael Phelps vs. Dara Torres - Who has the best accomplishments?
The rivalries are entertaining and thought-provoking. Kazinec and his team have created most of these but any user is welcome to create a rivalry in a variety of categories, such as arts, business, entertainment, gaming, politics science and sports. I had to ask Kazinec what made him create a social network in which people's interaction is potentially based on disagreement -- and why the name?
"After the idea surfaced the motivation to bring it to reality was to share the fun and comedic relief my family has grown to enjoy witnessing my brother and I compete in our childish rivalries," Kazinec said.
The site is still young (it only has about 60 users so far) and this type of interaction relies on a large network of users, so time will tell if JealousBrother.com is able to beef up its participants and start really getting the debate flowing. The team behind the site is very quick to respond to user demands, as I found personally when I requested a specific privacy feature. Kazinec recognizes, however, that they have a bit of learning and growing to do, as evidenced by other use feedback.
"On the positive side we’ve received compliments on the design and the concept. On the negative we've had a lot of requests for new features which we are planning to continuously add," Kazinec said. "We love input from every angle, it has and will continue to shape the direction of the Web site."
While the current network model seems focused around entertainment, I can see how engaging in these potentially controversial conversations could be grounds for valuable, more substantive networking than, say, adding someone so they can throw a sheep at you?