Matt Hintzke

Student, Coffman Engineers, Inc

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A new kind of social network

Social networking has become one of the most powerful communication tools in the world for the past few years and I have been thinking of how this power could be used in a more meaningful way.
I have come up with an idea for a website and organization that is parallel to ones like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter yet remain in a completely different category all its own.
This website would allow users to use their lifetime goals and interests and create a universal "To-Do" list of their life. Everyone has dreams of doing things. Many of these things could change people's lives in a positive way but never actually work out. The network would allow people with similar goals and interests to communicate and share stories of their lives to help inspire others to do the same.
The website could be used as a way to track your lifes accomplishments and keep you accountable, yet determined to fulfill your previously established goals. The site would be based off Person-to-Person support and would help all ages remain on track toward acheiving their goals. I feel too many well intentioned ideas go unnoticed and are "left to fulfill in the future". Whether its to simply learn a new language, lose a few pounds, or find that special someone or to fulfill ones wildest dreams of traveling the world, helping third world countries, or becoming someone that made a difference in society, this site would connect people in a whole new way, finally breathing life into a once unfulfilled dream.
I myself think that this would be an amazing way to keep positive influence among everyone, everywhere.

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    Jul 24 2011: What about a smart phone app where you can track your top passions and your engagement with those passions and then network with others who share your passions. I personally find a "to-do" list feels like work while a "bucket list" sounds more like fun.
    How would we track attaining inner peace? Living our passions does not particularly mean "attaining" anything specific that can be easily tracked. We sometimes focus on outcomes to the detriment of the journey.
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    Jul 23 2011: This sounds like it would be a really good facebook app as well. Then it would be shared with people you actually know, and friends of friends, and therefore people you could actually meet.
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    jag .

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    Jul 21 2011: I think thats a great idea :)

    You could say that you can go on forums and discuss this, but it is not filtered/focused enough to want to have 'buddies' that you achieve your goals with.

    If you could make it a nice easy to use, flash website, it would be of great use to use self development junkies lol, but also to people who aren't usually accustomed to setting and achieving goals of their own choosing. Good luck :)
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      Jul 21 2011: I actually use to code some flash, mostly games as a high schooler, but I am sure I could hone the skills into allowing me to create super user friendly apps to help with the organization of the website seeing how I already sense that this project would be huge.
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        Jul 23 2011: Matt it seems that you would be following the "Facebook" model in its implementation - start small and people's interest will expand it.

        Can it also be done in a collaborative model like wikipedia?
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    Jul 21 2011: Great idea Matt! it's like a collaborative aspect of TED with the connecting power of facebook and twitter.

    Like our fellow Tedsters suggested, start developing it now and improve it as you go along. When you start, the solid foundational framework should be there.

    To keep the coverage not too daunting, it has to be somehow categorized among group of people like students, professions and leaders; government, business and NGOs, and their unique inter-connections. We can start here among Tedsters.

    Maybe you can also add or consider the overall direction of our world today in its transformation into a just and sustainable global home with the empowering principle of ignited hearts and minds. Your website would be one way to keep our understanding and caring powers perpetually energized.
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    Jul 20 2011: Ha ha, yeh, don't forget to brush your teeth and buy a ticket :D I think if someone needs reminders like that, they should probably be escorted the whole journey. Rather than a website, perhaps a mommybot.
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      Jul 20 2011: well the sad truth is alot of people probably do need that.
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    Jul 20 2011: Robin Sharma is another in a long line of 'feel-good' , charismatic types that get rich telling stories of success. I just watched several of his little talks, and found out that to be successful, all I have to do is be extraordinarily good at my job, an amazing communicator, extremely hard working, get up a 5am every day to beat the competition, get super-fit, be 101% enthusiastic..........and it goes on.Well hey, if only I'd known how easy it was! What amazing 'secrets'But he is entertaining, and tells nice little anecdotes and throws in plenty of wise or encouraging quotes, and talks with very small pauses between sentences so you get a little hypnotised; so now he's a guru.I went through one of these courses with Anthony Robbins: Get the Edge book & CD's. The 'hour of power' in the morning, goal setting, self-belief, inner voice/emotions and all that. I did feel better and made some positive changes, so I give credit to their power to inspire, but it's nothing new. The wisdom is as old as the hills, so it is deceitful to market it as something you must buy if you want success. Maybe you can do something where you're applying the info, not just re-packaging it. But it will need good structure, as was mentioned earlier, because a sea of information about how this person got rich and that person got fit soon becomes boring.I don't think you need a new social networking site to achieve your goals. You need self-discipline, and that comes from within. Networks are obviously good for info. sharing and putting groups together though, so you could do something like that. But in my case, most of my goals have changed and continue to evolve, so trying to hold myself to old goals would be couter-productive. Something more practical would be better, like if you want to join a band, you type in 'join a band' and everyone else who wants to join a band pops up - what do you know, you've got a band, maybe. Keep the ideas coming! :)
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      Jul 20 2011: Ian, you pretty much embraced exactly what I would like to do. I do NOT want to be a guru of any kind and give advice for people. I am 20 years old and have next to no life experience so I would not be the best to give people advice. However, I really like the idea of combining a social network with something that can actually do the world better and like you said about the "join a band" idea, I want to make it very user friendly to the point where you can add photos, videos, blogs, ect just like facebook, but at the same time keep an important goal at hand.

      Lets say someone wants to visit Italy. You could use the site to develop a step by step process on how to do so. Pricing, flights, hotels, things to do, who to do it with, other peoples experiences there. To take the entire idea as a whole and help people fulfill that goal. You could set reminders for such things like "Look up flight prices" or even simple things like "Brush your teeth". It could be integrated into Microsoft Outlook so that people can recieve email notifications and alerts using the calender synced up with the website.

      Or, say your goal is to have $1,000,000 in savings by the time you retire at say, age 65. There could be PROFESSIONAL apps that can actually help you acheive that goal. Telling you how much you need to save a year and what kind of investments would be good.

      From my point of view, we have enough technology to create a website that can do pretty much anything. However, there is a difference between having an idea and being able to make it come true. I have little experience in web developing and am currently trying to change that.
      • David L

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        Jul 21 2011: Matt!
        Just read some of the thread and some of the comments around it! Also checked out that successnation web site.
        I think your idea is really good. The problem i see, every "goal-group" will need atleast one person who take on a lot of work with a huge amount of enthusiasm. Basicly because so many people dream about things... future goals, etc. But are way to lazy to do anything about it. So your biggest problem, that i can think of right now, will not be to make people stop just follow, but to make them take action and start leading.

        There are forums all over the internet which covers most questions people have. But very few of them acually provides any social aspect around theis questions, except typing with an anonymous bunch of people. Basicly just fact trading. However can you get this fact trading to "come to life"? To be the same amount (or a little less) about facts meanwhile people connect with eachother.

        Another question, what happens when the "leading" type, which often take on the most responsiblity, moves on. Maybe goes out on that "around the world travel".

        Keeps poping up questions. How can you get this forum to become less superficial. Most people want to connect with other. Sure they have their mutal goal. And probably will find out that they have even more incommon. That will probably happen to some. But how can you get the mass to join. Which i think is crucial to make this social network last and grow to something more than a wonderful idea.

        Maybe this idea could work if the website is very usefriendly and make it very simple for anyone to create and lead their thread/group. But i think it will be very hard to compete with Facebook and other social networks.
        Maybe you could use this idea as a base thought to build a new one which could be an app for facebook for example. They could need some new ideas on that section!
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          Jul 21 2011: David,
          You have brought up some good points. I have been thinking about how I would keep people interested and not lose sight of their goals, but at the same time keep the website fairly simple. Thats why I would think it would be interesting to bring work and play together by letting it be a serious place where people can express their desires to do things in their life, but also a place to just chat with interesting people, post videos, photos and write small blogs about their experiences.

          I actually thought of a cool little feature that could be implemented; a fully interactive timeline of each persons life that would appear at the top of their profile page. The timeline would show all major events that that user wants the world to see including education, jobs, vacations, and other important moments in his or her life. Visiting users could then hover over and click on parts of the timeline which would link them to a more detailed description of the event.

          Another idea, to implement a StumbleUpon-like feature that allows users to check mark interests and then be allowed to randomly browse the thousands of events other users have done that correlate to that specific interest. Example: Say one person is interested in Guitars and they build an electric guitar out of scratch as a project in their life, they then post this project on the website with pictures and details of what they did. Metatags would then be used to place that "event" under specific tags like DIY and Guitar. Now another member gets on this feature and checks the box saying they are interested in Guitars. Now when they, for lack of a better word, "stumble" through that interest, the first users page about their guitar building experience will pop up and can be viewed.

          I would see this as a great way to not only give people new ideas that others have done, but also motivate them because they can say, "Hey, if he can do it, why can't I".
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    Jul 20 2011: I feel this is wonderful thought and need to be implemented the way you have described it. I have gone through site htyp://, but its not that user friendly. In order to cultivate the thinking of like minded people, the platform should be well defined. Just like the TED website. Matt, Do you want to convert your thoughts into a full fledged website, exactly the way you have described? May be you can try to release its beta version and can share the link with TED members for development thoughts. As said above by Raj, There is still so much space for more,The only thing is ideas need conversion. and if you come across anything like that you discussed, Do share it, we can continue from there also. Regards,Vivek
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      Jul 20 2011: I agree with you. The successnation website was not as user friendly as it should be. I was thinking more of a hybrid between and Facebook, where intellect and positive thinking is mixed with global social networking and communication. At this point, this is still just an idea, but I am going to look into it and hopefully go through with it. If not today, then soon.
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        Jul 20 2011: I am with you...Just let me know whenever you get time to implement your ideas. I will also come up with ideas for basic design development.
  • raj rao

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    Jul 19 2011: There is still space for more...
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      Jul 19 2011: Very true. I could not sum up half of what I have actually been thinking about in my Idea up above, and I think it would be amazing to take it to the next level and connect the social network with reality where people can not only talk about fulfilling life goals and successes, but actual DO them whether on their own or with other people with the same interests. The concept of an "idea" would no longer be used. Instead, it would be turned tangible. Individuals could seek other professionals to create new organizations, websites, services, and businesses. All with the same united plan to change the world in a unique way. There are ways for these people to be heard like, but an idea is nothing without someone to utilize and energize it.
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    Jul 23 2011: I think TED has the potential :) The point of a network, at least for me, is not sending virtual kisses and pokes, or playing poker, but communication. I have often tried to bring my friends to a discussion about some important issues, but noone seems interested :P And TED is made for, and by people who are interested. So, here's an idea, maybe a couple of features like notifications when someone likes your post, nothing fancy :) I would definitely trade facebook for it :D
  • Jul 23 2011: hola, hiciste realidad el sitio web? tienes la dirección para hacerme parte?

  • Jul 23 2011: I love the idea of having a website devoted to improvement of ourselves, and as a community.
    If there was some part of this website that was determined to getting these groups whom had the same aspirations to actually get out and meet - then I'd love to become apart of it.
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    Jul 22 2011: click the Bucket... the big "TO DO"... into a social site... it's all good...
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    Jul 22 2011: Hi Matt, we are building precisely this, we are in beta - it is based on an international TO DO list, as per my thread on TED via the Bucket List - only difference is we are both a social media site, and a white label engine inside of Facebook, Mobile, LinkedIn and soon Youtube... so I believe you are on the right idea path Matt ... best, Terry Torok
  • Jul 22 2011: You know, as a young adult with many aspirations I'd love to share, that sounds like a great idea. But as a concerned citizen, I think I've had enough of social networking.

    I find that children and adults these days have no idea how to communicate effectively, nor do they understand that the person on the other side of the computer screen is just that.

    More reason at:

    People learn how to talk via text and computer these days, and they're more open with what they say (because they cannot see a face). This'd be great if it was used for share & care. But the issue is, when confronted with real-life social situations, they really have no clue. And they're mean. They are so mean. Because when you yell and swear and tell of a computer, you don't realize that someone else is reading it. You can't see a face, and so you can't empathize.

    No more social networks, for the sake of humanity. Let's learn how to talk to people again.
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      Jul 22 2011: I feel as if you did not even read my idea...the whole point of this idea IS to get people to go out in the world and physically do something they are passionate may involve digital communication, but the overall goal of the site would be to encourage people to go outside and make something for themselves, not sit on their arses in front of a computer screen.
      • Jul 22 2011: Well I am sorry you feel that way, because I definitely did read it. I am also sorry that I went against your idea, but that's kinda the point of a debate.

        So you're saying that you would like to create a social network (which have been shown to degrade people's ability to empathize or adapt to social situations) in which people exchange goals in life? To track your life's accomplishments? So that people's is determined by a website?

        "The site would be based off person-to-person support..." I'm all for the idea of a collective of people with similar goals and interests. Tracking your achievements, like some kind of xbox profile, does sound a little dangerous to me. But the most important thing is this statement. It wouldn't be person-to-person support. That is what I'm trying to say. When people communicate on the internet, they do not act like they would in normal circumstances. It isn't person-to-person. It's post-to-post or profile-to-profile.

        Maybe if the idea was to get these people together IRL, it'd be cool. Find people with similar interests, so you can go and meet them. But the moment the social network becomes the form of socializing (IE, chat, writing on walls, personal messages, etc.), rather than a tool for socializing (setting up plans, finding people with similar interests, etc.) it gets dangerous. Don't believe me? Go talk to a thirteen year old. See if they have any clue how to talk. Better yet: take away their phone and internet, see how long they survive not being able to talk to someone every second.

        A great idea, I warrant. Just don't make it a social network, and definitely don't make it so people can compare real life achievements. :)
  • Jul 21 2011: If there's time I'll evolve my thoughts around this idea... I think that timeline should be placed elsewhere. It's about what we wish to do... not what we already achieved or not achieved. Better off with a list of things we wish to accomplish in life. That sounds a lot better to my ears atleast.

    You can reach me at my mail if you want feedback, etc.
    (it's in my profile i think ^^ )
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      Jul 21 2011: Well the underlying principal of the website would be to encourage new accomplishments and goals, however getting ideas from other's past experiences is never a bad idea. Theres so many fascinating things in the world that I think most people don't even know about, but if they find out about it from another's experiecne then it might lead them to pursue a new goal. Thank you for your feedback. If I am to begin this project I am going to have to spend alot of time reading up on website design and development because I know next to nothing about creating a website. However, I will keep posting my ideas and I encourage all others to do the same if they would like. If anyone with experience is willing to help me it would be much appreciated.
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    Jul 19 2011: Good god... it's already intimidating enough to see all those photos on FB how better people are doing. *giggles*
    I'm sorry... I like it till I imagine it what it would be like... and I got depressed.

    I run into a similar thing though. A social network for academics where they can start and or follow people's projects. But since it's in an academic contexts it comes naturally.. ya know just grades... like scored in sports... but life ?
    I don't know.
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      Jul 19 2011: I think people should not get depressed about seeing other successful people. They should take that and use it as motivation to be successfull themselves. Too many people sit around and do nothing but mourn over their own personal views of how unsuccessful their life has been when they should go out and do something about it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to go out and do something good in the world, just a little hard work and the right idea.
  • Jul 19 2011: Good thinking. Such a network requires a leader who can lead and inspire the members. Take a look at htyp://
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      Jul 19 2011: Wow. It appears Robin has successfully taken this idea to reality. His website is nearly what I had in mind.