A mention of Mensch’s //Menshn

I like those who are slightly ‘mad’, dare to be different and maybe end up appearing quirky or eccentric whilst working in jobs that require them to be anything but.  One of my favourites is Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Another, and mentioned before here, is Louise Mensch.

Now then, she’s written racy novels, is married to the manager of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, admits to a purple hazy early life, and is a Conservative MP.  Cool.

Add to that portfolio her fantastic use of social networking, mainly Twitter, and you have an all round ok-by-me lady, even if her politics is on occasion a bit ‘out there’.

Now then.  She’s gotten together with Luke Bozier and together they’ve created menshn.com.  Pronounced “mention”, obviously, it’s a new social media alternative to Twitter providing what it calls “talk, on topic”.

The functionality is very similar to Twitter, well, the original Twitter.  Yes, it’s a little basic at this early stage and so reminds me of early stage Twitter.

It could do with some ‘search’ and ‘threading’ facilities, and no doubt they will come, but where it’s interesting compared to the huge vacuum of the Twitterverse is that you are forced into topic ‘rooms’ (‘Rooms’ seems such a 1980s terminology), and what those topic rooms are is decided by the system and not by you.

So, at this very early stage, you are only able to ‘talk on topic’ about US or UK politics, women (why nothing for men? Bloody sexist!), football (don’t tell me that’s the room for men is it? Bloody stereotyping!), or technology.  There’s not even a ‘test’ or ‘sandbox’ or ‘newbies’ room, but in my humble opinion there should be.

It is very very early days, yes, yet so far all the loud political commentators from Twitter appear to be on board. Usefully it copies whatever you write on Twitter (as long as you include the appropriate room hashtag) so you can use both to make pronouncements rather than having to, well, use both.

I do like the idea of Menshn trying to force people to stay on topic, however a quick scan through shows that mainly they don’t (Actually, mainly they are positing bewildered newbie messages, hence the need for a ‘sandbox’ room). They also have a ‘rating’ system (similar to the Facebook ‘like’ system), and you can build up ‘points’ when you are rated or followed, erm, ‘subscribed to’.  I’m not sure if points means prizes, but that would be good.

Technically it certainly needs a lot of ‘growing’ and updating, not to mention mobile apps, but so far so good.  I have found myself reading quite a lot of the posts there so far, and, without having to read via a ‘search’ as I do with Twitter, it’s been a lot easier to read the same old caustic remarks as ever.  Some things never change, whatever the platform!