Minds is an open source encrypted social network with the ability for you to monetize your content. It's not like anything that is already out there.
For example Tsu tries to pay you a share of the money made with advertisements shown on your content; but nobody is really making money with it and it has become a spam and junk center. I dont think it will survive much longer.
So this is not Tsu, and it's not Facebook, but it has some gamification incentives and a way for you to make money with your content on a P2P basis.
In Minds, I can pay for boosted posts and you can also make deals with individuals to help promote content. You set your price, you call the shots.
Let me give you a quick getting started guide with Minds.com
Please keep in mind, that the site is still in beta so a few things may seem clunky, but it's very promising.
Sign up for an account
You sign up by visiting Minds.com, you don't need to provide any personal information beyond a username of your choice, and your email address. You can also do all this through their mobile app (Android, IOS)
My username is Oscar Gonzalez, feel free to follow me, or as it is called here, subscribe to me.
Customize your profile
The first screen you'll see is your profile and you can edit it by clicking on the pencil icon. You can always get back to this spot by using your profile icon on the top right corner.
You can customize your header banner, your avatar and bio from this page. It's a really elegant interface. The date picker to select your birthday is a little odd, but it's simple enough.
This is what I came up with on the first try, it feels a little similar to Facebook but the whole thing is a lot simpler and cleaner. I really like it.
Getting acquainted with the user interface
The top right corner has a small navigation menu with some neat features. Because the network is fully open sourced, you can actually submit a bug here and it will get looked at. If you are feeling adventurous you can also submit a feature request.
There is also an area where you can review your stats on your boosted content. Unlike Facebook, you can promote your regular posts on your profile so they get more visibility.
The small bell represents any alerts that are new since you checked lasta.
The last icon before your profile, gives you access to your wallet screen. In order for you to boost your content, you need to have credits and this is where your credits show up.
Your avatar button takes you to your profile where you can edit your profile picture, banner picture and bio.
Lastly, the three dots next to your profile open up a few more options. You can logout, adjust your global settings for the site or switch to the old interface.
This is a refreshing experience
The user experience is clean and even though the network is still in Beta, it feels solid. The user interface is clean and elegant and everything is simplified compared to Facebook or Twitter.
When you visit your alerts, you can see everything that has happened recently and you can take action from there.
The first few alerts help you get started with finding new content to explore. And as people find you, you'll be notified here when someone subscribes to you.
There is a gamification element too
This has been the downfall for many networks that have tried it but I think Minds.com has the right idea and execution. Certain actions give you credits which you can then spend to promote your content.
As you join, you'll get about 110 points or so to start. 100 for joining, then you'll get 10 points everyday for a "daily login" and you get one point for voting on someone else's post.
One thing I noticed is that they seem to be breaking the secret rules of social networks. That action which takes the most effort or commitment is, or should be the most valuable. For example, a comment is more valuable than a like, and a share should be more valuable than both comments and likes.
Case in point, if you like someone else's post, you'll get a point. But you will not get a point if you leave a comment, you should get more than one point because this is arguably a more valuable action. It represents more engagement.
After your profile is done, you can start using the site. Here's a quick rundown of what's available.
The action menu
The site features an icon-only action menu on the left hand side and if you're new to the site, the icons may not be intuitive enough for you to just figure it out. Here's a breakdown of what you can find there.
Some of the sections highlighted above have a few sub-menu actions. For example, the blog section lets you view featured blogposts, search for blogposts and create your own.
The blogging section is pretty standard and it has a WYSIWYG interface that works fine. Here is the first blogpost I created with it.
The most compelling features of the site
Social networks come and go, but the need for privacy is increasing and this may just be the best attempt at helping us with that. Minds.com is addressing this in two ways, the chats and the network are encrypted so people can't sniff what you're doing on the site.
The other way to help with privacy is to make the software open source. Developers can read through the code and figure out how things work, there is no hidden algorithm and "secret sauce."
The guys from Diaspora tried this before, but unfortunately a few years later the project is almost dead because it was too disjointed, Minds.com addresses this issue by offering a central location to interact with your connections.
Monetization is important for me and for other people that use social media sites for networking and business, and I really like the model offered by Minds. I acquired about 3000 credits and I will be putting the promoted and boost features to the test over the next week or so. I'll let you know how that goes.
For now, why don't you give it a try. Come join me, explore this new network.
Also watch an interview with Bill Ottman, Minds founder.
I caught up with Bill Ottman co-founder of Minds.com, the new social network that is taking over Facebook.