From the very beginning, social media platforms as we know them today have played a massive role in the way we share and exchange information. You already know the side effects though – hate speech, misinformation, noise and feeling less focused and connected than ever.
We interviewed Richard Kim, the founder of Ideacracy, a social media app for progressive media and a community dedicated to causes like climate change, wealth inequality and democracy. He shares bits of what it means to be a startup founder, the origins of this mobile application and its purpose.
I was listening to a podcast episode of The Daily by the New York Times where a journalist who covers tech said something like, “social media does not optimize for truth or benefit to society.”
As I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram that night, I couldn’t get that idea out of my head. I started to imagine what social media could look like if it did optimize for those things. I had the idea for the platform and decided to call it Ideacracy — a democratic community where the best ideas and insights would rise to the top.
It’s incredibly hard being a startup founder. I started out with a really sweeping vision and I still think it’s important for that vision to fuel your passion. But I’m also learning how to be more realistic and to accept the fact that progress can be a non-linear thing. That’s especially the case in social media where you’re up against 2–4 big competitors with vast resources and control of all distribution channels.
From that perspective, even incremental wins can mean a lot (e.g., people I don’t know signing up for the platform, organizations/publications expressing interest, etc.).
And ultimately, I’m in this for the long haul no matter the twists and turns.
I want Ideacracy to result in people being more informed and engaged about social topics for as much or as little time as they have in the day. Because these topics do matter.
Climate change is, of course, an existential and urgent threat, but there’s also no denying the real-world impact of inertia on other issues like healthcare, wealth inequality, and democracy.
If Ideacracy helped power legislation or elections that actually addressed these issues, I would be incredibly happy.
That’s it, folks!
We are happy to be part of this meaningful journey and helping Richard build the Ideacracy iOS application.
Make sure to become a part of the Ideacracy community by downloading the app and indulging yourself in conversations and content relating to politics and the following 12 social causes:
Democracy, Climate Change, Health Care, Gun Control, Immigration, Education, Wealth Inequality, Women’s Rights, Food &Water Waste, LGBTQ Rights, and Racial Equity.