This month I’ll be celebrating the 1st birthday of my Glassboard account. Or noticing it, at least, which is about as exciting as it gets when you’re a web service. No candles for you, Glassboard! We already ate your cake!
In case you’re unaware, Glassboard is “a private social network for groups.” They explain it pretty well on their website, so go check that out, and get yourself an account. It’s free!
Looking back over the year, I realize that using Glassboard accomplished something which I’d suspected it might but couldn’t have predicted with any certainty. I’ve almost completely cut out Facebook from my online diet. Of course, that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t managed to convince my entire extended family to sign up to the service. Sounds like a tall order? Here’s how I did it: I started with the family member with a cute little baby. After that it was inevitable that all the aunties and uncles and cousins would sign up.
Here’s what’s so attractive about using Glassboard:
It has 0% of the cruft and nonsense that drips from Facebook’s every pore. The game invites. The weird political memes. The sponsored posts. You don’t have to pick through a lot of crap to get at the content you care about. Glassboard really is just about people, in a way that other “social networks” really aren’t. It’s a great example of limitations being a benefit: the things it lets you do are in a far narrower band than you might find elsewhere — and that means the signal to noise ratio is hugely better. You can quickly find things that were shared in the past. It isn’t trying to be your one-stop-shop for content. It does what it does, extremely well, and makes no pretension at doing anything more.
It’s private. It’s safe. You can post pictures of your kids, secure in the knowledge that you know exactly who’s seeing them. You can share things that you’d only share with your closest family and friends. The ability to create different boards means you can have content silos that make sense.
It’s really easy for even the non-technically-minded to figure out. Because it’s designed simply and straightforwardly, it’s super-easy to get into. You don’t need a 20 minute tutorial to start using it — nor are you at risk of accidentally posting something to the wrong person.
There are no ads. You are the customer. They have a simple premium account business model, and that’s it. They aren’t mining your data to figure out what targeted ads to show you, nor are they selling your demographic info. You won’t feel like you need to take a shower when you use it.
After a year of using it, I’m really happy with how well Glassboard has measured up. It’s not the flashiest or most functional service I use, it just does its job well with a minimum of fuss. It’s quietly become indispensable to me.
Published on July 5th, 2013