Minds.com Emerging As The Free Speech Social Media Hybrid Alternative to Facebook
I guess depending on who you are will determine how you land on your feelings about the purpose and mission behind Minds.com but CEO, Bill Ottman felt that Minds was a necessary and much needed alternative and when you look at it’s growing popularity, he may have been right.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot’s that been going on in Facebook land and I mean lots. But what I’m going to focus on is the fact that Youtube channels are getting demonetized (has it happened to you yet ?) due to the nature of their content.
That may not seem like a big deal for some, but it’s a bigger deal than you may realize.
Nevertheless, let me say something for everyone and let’s call it the elephant in the room. None of us own Facebook and they can and will do whatever they want for anyone they choose.
In the context of this post and why I’ve written it, I’ll say this: if your content is not advertiser friendly on Youtube things are about to hit the fan for you and this may also be a sign of things to come for other online assets that you nor I own.
If your content is controversial or about sensitive subjects, you might want to think twice about two things:
The first is even posting it on Youtube and the second is even considering having it monetized there too.
Needless to say, depending on what you may blog or talk about, this could be MAJOR.. a game changer if you will, because we’re talking about people’s livelihoods. And if you’re in the content industry, we’re all relying on someone else as most of us aren’t developing our own products and even if we are we still rely on larger platforms (assets we don’t own) to help us get the word out and sell it.
This is why this particular adage still remains true..
NEVER put all your eggs in one basket. Meaning if your livelihood depends on Facebook or any online asset for that matter, you might want to find alternatives to supplement what you’re investing into those platforms.
With that said, it brings me to the heart of this post which is the introduction of Minds.com, a social media platform that many would say is the true free speech alternative to Facebook. Now, whether or not it will live up to that is anyone’s guess, but for now since it’s introduction in late 2016, it’s seen pretty reasonable growth and popularity among a growing fan base.
Minds.com is still in beta and I opened an account today and it’s been fairly easy to navigate. I’ll give you a run through of the features and what it means for you and your content.
When you get to the minds website, this is the image you’ll see:
And then view this tutorial and or read about the rest of the featureset below.
Now that you’ve got that out of the way, the next step is getting familiar with everything at your fingertips once you’ve logged in.
Let’s start with the dashboard which encompasses the following tabs:
As I mentioned before I opened an account today. I’ve been on and off of their website several times familiarizing myself with how everything works and more importantly to see what kind of reach I could get from sharing content on Minds, and I have to say that the results were much better than I expected.
Let’s face it, a lot of times you sign up to a social network and you expect to get a few eyeballs on your content but you don’t expect to see nearly 700 views on your content “on the day you signed up”. And yes, I saw nearly 700 views today alone. Not bad.. pretty impressive actually. (You can verify my numbers after you've signed up and search for my profile "cwblogger" if this sounds too good to be true).
First things first, let’s talk about the newsfeed.
As you can see, there’s your username and some other options (as depicted by the buttons). In the image there’s the upgrade to plus option, affiliate program and there were a couple other ones that were there too when I got started and those are about earning money on Minds.
Once you sign up, those two buttons go away.
NOTE: I highly advise signing up to earn money. Why ? Because they are monetization friendly (this is good for you) and commissions are currently at a generous 25%. As with most information you consume online, content creators are genuinely and not surprisingly trying to earn money and Minds encourages it.
Go Minds ! Love the way they think on that front.
Honestly, more social media websites are heading in the direction of that kind of thinking and it’s a more modern and contemporary perspective that has great potential in growing and connecting with an audience as a social media platform anyway.
Beyond those comments, I want emphasize that Minds.com is still in beta so everything you’re reading here can change as they are still making adjustments to features and functionality of their website.
Continuing on with the newsfeed, you’ll notice that there is a trending hashtags section and a feed of posts of topics and / or individuals that you follow.
You’ll also see boosted content on the right side of your newsfeed and I’ll be sure to talk about boosted content towards the conclusion of this post (if you can’t wait just scroll down to the bottom to see what boosted content is all about.. it’s pretty good stuff for your content visibility).
Minds.com Discovery Tab
As for discovery, clicking this tab will take you to this screen:
You’ll see additional options at the top that include: videos, images and channels. Of course like with any other social app this allows you to find new channels, new images and videos to engage with. Even though it’s in its early stages, there’s a lot to choose from.
Since we’re talking about the discovery tab, you’ll also notice that your left pane looks a little more comprehensive because of the added tabs that include: trending, suggested, featured and my media.
So let’s talk about them for a minute.
Trending from what I can tell gives you the same results that you’ll see as when you click on the discovery tab. So we may as well say that discovery and trending are synonymous as they seem to generate the same results for each tab for videos, images and channels.
I’m not sure if that’s intended, but I don’t know.. I guess I was thinking it would be different, but it’s kinda strange that it’s the same, but that’s just me.
There’s also the suggested tab.
This is a bit different too because when you click on the tab, it gives you the ability to search for channels that are within “x” miles of your city of choosing ?
That’s a new one for me for a social media site of this kind, but I guess that also matches what is said about Minds.com in how it has Facebook like features as well as features from Youtube and Twitter too.
I guess you could call it a channel discovery engine in this section. The same can be said for images and video.
When images or videos are suggested, you can pass on the image or video or engage with it by: liking (thumbs up), disliking (thumbs down) and another option (haven’t tested it) that looks just like the retweet symbol from Twitter.
As for the “featured tab”, the results are different here. I’m not sure how this is accomplished in how Minds determines who gets featured but even so, the layout mimics what you see when you click on the trending tab.
Minds.com Blogs Tab
When you click on the blogs tab, you get a new subset of options here too that include: compose, featured, trending and my blogs.
It’s pretty self-explanatory that the compose function is to write your own blog post and this brings me to another point about the blogs function. You can ditch where you’re currently hosting your blog and make a new blog on Minds.
I’m not saying it’s a good idea since it seems “only slightly better” than what you’d get starting a blog on Quora. However, if you want a pretty comprehensive place to write your blogs, I’d opt for something else until they’ve upgraded this a bit, but for those looking for something simple and straightforward that does the job per se, then a Minds blog might just be perfect for your needs.
The featured tab and trending tabs under the blogs section is for featured blogs and trending blogs. Once again I’m not really sure how they make the determination as to which blogs get this distinguished status.
The my blogs section is self-explanatory as well and if you have blogs on Minds.com it will show them in this section.
Minds.com Groups Tab
In the groups tab, you’ll be greeted with another subset of tabs that include the following: create, featured, trending and my groups.
The features follow the same pattern of the other subset tabs that I’ve addressed in other sections that you’ve read about to this point in this post.
I will say, however that I did find it a bit clumsy that when you go to the groups tab that you can’t just search for other groups ? That seems like something easy to incorporate but the only way to search is to use the main search function at the top of the page.
I didn’t care for that because you’re searching “everything” and there’s no way to limit the search to just groups or individuals. This is something I’d like to see get resolved before Minds comes out of beta.
With that said, the group that I created is called: “bloggerminds” if anyone reading this would like to join once they’ve signed up. Contributing to the overall mission of growing the blogging community through sharing, collaboration and networking is what the group is all about.
Now that we’ve discussed a great deal of what makes Minds.com the social media Facebook alternative that it is, let’s talk about how I ended up getting nearly 700 views on my content shared in my first day on Minds.
Minds has a feature called boosts.
As the name implies, it boosts your content. When you write or share content on Minds.com, that content is really only seen by your subscribers and unless you have a large following which you won’t when you start so you can’t expect much engagement.
So how can you grow your audience and visibility on the network ?
Boost your content.
I love the boost feature. One boost is only going to cost 10 cents and that’s only going to happen when you run out of points.
You’re going to get 1000 points just for signing up !
Seriously, where else can you get that kind of engagement ANYWHERE on the first day ?
When you’re talking about views.. not hits, not bots, real people looking at your content. You aren’t going to find this anywhere else, at least no where else that I’m aware of.
If you’ve got a real challenger to Minds at the moment in terms of views and engagement, leave a comment below, but my guess is that you probably don’t.
I can’t stress this enough.. I’ve gotten nearly 700 views and it’s only day one and I didn’t pay a dime for the visibility to my content. I paid $0.. absolutely nothing and that’s why if you write content or blog, you need to be on Minds.. if nothing else because it’s growing, it’s still in beta and your content has the potential to get more views on Minds.com than any other social media platform online and they encourage monetization too and you can’t go wrong there.
It’s a win win all around so stop reading and dilly dallying and get your Minds account.
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