They keeping calling it "The Node," instead of "Node" and therefore I can't stop thinking I'm logging in to steal pizza. If you're wondering what, exactly, The Node is, you're pretty much where I was the other day. I had to get an invite from Stephanie at Nerds In Babeland to sign up and peruse for myself. Since having to sign up for things just to see what it's all about is supremely annoying, I've included some screenshots and my thoughts after the link. Meanwhile, here's a blurb from their "about" page:
The Node is a collaboration network for creators to make stuff together, share knowledge, and inspire each other. Our goal is to provide a platform for constructively nerding-out with rich creative resources and opportunities...
I had never heard of "crowdsourcing" until Tuesday. As far as I can tell, it's the generalized term for something like open-source software or programming. You put your work or your task out there for lots of people to undertake themselves. It makes me think of "apps"... most of the applications you download from your phone aren't released by Apple or Verizon or whatever, they're created by users who are also programmers.
You don't have to take my word for it.
The Node uses what founder Chris Hardwick (you know him as the host of Singled Out, or if you're younger than me you know him as the host of Web Soup, and I sort of hate you so go away,) has coined "nerdsourcing." It's basically crowdsourcing amongst a very specified group of people... nerds. (Or, even more specifically, fans of Nerdist.) In my opinion, programmers and developers already are nerds, so this concept seems redundant so far.
Node's URL is actually node.nerdist.com, in case you were wondering why Chris Hardwick is involved at all. (In early 2010, Hardwick started a podcast called "Nerdist", because comedians these days are such copycats with the podcast having and the what have you.) He's not only the founder, he's a member, so to speak. So when he asks the community to participate in a poster-making project for Jim Gaffigan, there's a huge response.
Here's a look at the front page:
I mean... it is what it is. I'm not a Nerdist follower so yet another social media platform like Flickr or Tumblr or LiveJournal or whatever is just another way to distract me from actually updating this blog (and my personal one.) Don't ask me why Twitter and Facebook managed to "stick" with me and nothing else has -- maybe it's because I've always been able to "text" in a status message to those two. I don't see myself logging in to Node from my Droid, mainly because DROID PHONES AREN'T MEANT TO BE USED ARE YOU CRAZY? (Sorry, Droid battery life, or lack thereof, is another rant entirely.)
Node is also a place to show off your art or your writing or whatever. As a broad-based "geek" social network, it sometimes feels unnecessary. However, as a way to bring together fans of Hardwick's and the G4 crowd he represents, it totally succeeds. As you can see, we've already introduced Geektress and our friends the Comic Book Queers to the Node network via a new "group", with much success.
So far we've established that we're going to drink at C2E2, and that monkey knife fights are awesome.
New venues for networking with other con-goers, crafters, and "nerd generalists" are always welcome. I've yet to participate in one of their "crowdsourcing" challenges, but I look forward to maybe getting more exposure for the little cartoons I draw. What "The Node" really is going to do for me is provide a way to bring more of the sorts of people I like together with the friends I already have. And that's really all you can expect from any social network. I mean, nerds aren't going to leave the internet and take the world by storm, or Thor: The Mighty Avenger never would have been cancelled and Snakes On A Plane would have won four Oscars.
If you want an invite to join and see for yourself, leave a comment. I think I've got unlimited invites, as far as I can tell.