Potluck: a worse social network idea than Google+?

The creators of Branch have launched a new social network called Potluck. Depressingly, they call it “The best house party you’ve ever been to… on the internet”. I really hope that’s not true.


From what I’ve seen of Potluck, I don’t see it taking off at all. The aim is to get the 86% of the internet who don’t post or tweet to start sharing things – but this assumes that the non-sharing is because they haven’t found the right social network yet. I think it’s because they don’t want to share.

And why should they? The fundamental dynamic of humanity is that the minority create and the majority consume. If the majority created, most content would go unseen. We don’t run around trying to persuade everyone to make TV programmes or write books, do we? It’s just accepted that most people won’t and the best people will. What’s wrong with that?

How it works

On Potluck, you’ll see a news feed of links, none of which say who originally posted them. You can click through to find out, then comment or ‘heart’ things.

I do not understand the point here.

This quote from the site suggests you’d use it to share things you wouldn’t share elsewhere, like your My Little Pony mashups:


But if the point is nameless sharing to remove the ‘stigma’ (one article actually used this word – since when has sharing online ever been stigmatised?!), then clicking through to find out who posted ruins it. If the point is sharing with your friends, then the semi-anonymous part is redundant.

People share stuff online for glory. They share to be the first to break a story, to get likes, to get comments, attention, validation. They don’t share just to share, and they don’t not share because someone might see that they shared. I mean, what?

When you sign up to Potluck, it asks you to promote it on your other social networks:Image

No, Potluck. Twitter is where I go to talk about cool things my friends and I find on the web.

So I have to ask, what’s the point of Potluck? If I want to share anonymously, I’ll set up an anonymous twitter or use Reddit or any other forum. If I want to share with friends, I’ll use any of the existing social networks (even Google+). If I want a weird hybrid of the two, I’ll have a word with myself.

Nonetheless, I really hope Potluck takes off, because the lack of users means I got a killer handle.

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