British politician launches US-only alternative to Twitter

british politician launches us only alternative to twitter menshnDoes the format and frequency of Twitter frequently leave you frustrated instead of educated, and feeling left out of the conversation instead of right there in the middle of everything that’s going on? If so, then British politician Louise Mensch has the solution for you… as long as you live in America, that is.

Mensch is one of the two creators of Menshn, a new site that describes itself as “a new social network, formed around a simple idea – talk, on topic.” As might be expected considering Mensch’s day job, the initial focus of the network will be political discussion, but the Menshn Rules point out that “future versions of the site will expand our rooms into every topic that has demand for it. World Series? Check. Weddings? Check. Olympics? Check.”

Those same rules point out the kind of moderation that users can expect from the network. “If you harass, spam, clog feeds and so forth, we can delete your account without notice,” the rules state, going on to say that posts “age off” the site after a week and will not be stored on servers, but “reported or rated [messages], or [messages] we are asked to keep by legal authorities or to investigate a complaint, we may keep as long as we choose.” Anything posted to the site will become available to other users, Menshn or – interestingly – “future partner companies” for use, but anything illegal, including malware or libel, “it’s on you,” according to the site. “We will absolutely co-operate with law enforcement. So take responsibilty for anything you menshn.”

The network is the result of Mensch, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Corby, finding herself increasingly upset with a certain 140-character-limit network of most people’s acquaintance. “This is an idea that I’ve had since Christmas. I’ve been a passionate user of social media since the days of AOL chatrooms, and that was the inspiration really,” she told the Guardian newspaper. “[Business partner Luke Bozier and I] were both frustrated at the way Twitter doesn’t focus on topics. We both love Twitter, but if you want to focus on the election there’s no obvious place to do that online. Twitter is just too random. We wanted to encourage people to have conversations rather than broadcast their thoughts.”

Currently, Menshn – Named for a play on the word “mention” and not a play on her last name, she claims – offers three “rooms” for American political junkies: One for the Obama campaign, one for the Romney campaign, and a third generic one covering the US Election in general. As of this writing, there’s a discussion over which presidential candidate has watched the most pornography. Perhaps Menshn may be about to discover that thread drift isn’t always a bad thing…

Product Review

The Oaxis Timepiece is minimalist in style, maximalist in frustration.

The Oaxis Timepiece wants to be a traditional watch, a fitness tracker, and a basic smartwatch all-in-one. That’s a tall order, despite it sounding quite simple, so can the sub-$180 wearable manage to pull it off?
Mobile

It hasn't even been announced yet, but you can already reserve the Galaxy S10

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Computing

Blockchain does way more than power Bitcoin. Here's how it works

What is a blockchain? It was once merely an academic idea and today it's the backbone of the cryptographic industry, helping to send billions of dollars worth of digital assets all over the world.
Social Media

Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suggested the company is still looking at options for allowing people to edit tweets. Ideas include a function that gives you up to 30 seconds to recall a tweet before it goes live on the service.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.