Standpoint: My First Impressions

what’s your standpoint?
Originally uploaded by coolmel.

Serendipity is all in the works for me during these past few days. I find myself here again playing with yet another social networking service. It’s called Standpoint.

Standpoint is a place where you can share your beliefs. It’s a place where you can learn about the perspectives of other people. It’s a social encyclopedia of belief. It’s a tool for organizing the web by opinion. It will even do your laundry for you (but only if you ask politely).

I just signed up, created a short profile, and punched in one of my beliefs. What?! I’m the only believer in this crap?

Anyway… It’s cool. For each belief you have you can specify the reason for that belief, whether it’s from a book, a movie, a website, etc… For example, when you specify a book as a reason, it uses Amazon’s database and displays the book on that belief page. Sweet. That’s one cool business model.

I find the site very entertaining. The site is very usable and has that typical Web 2.0-ish feel to it. Just like any other social networking app, the more you use it, the more contact you make with other people, the more value you’ll get out of it.

But I’m interested to understand the usefulness of this social app on individuals and collective. From a wider perspective I think it can be used to gauge the belief systems of the mainstream. It can serve as a visual survey of the belief system landscape of all the users. It can also generate the Wisdom of Crowds. However, it has also the potential of promoting herd mentality and IHHFF (I Heart Huckabees Food Fight). Remains to be seen. As for individuals, it’s a very useful tool for personal reflection: to examine one’s beliefs, to look at and learn from the beliefs of others.

My question is, once Standpoint gathers enough belief-data and able to represent visually the belief systems of all its members… Will the pie charts of belief systems be just like a flatland graphics of annual sales and profit margins? Or will it have some mechanism to compassionately RANK those belief systems? Ahh… I can see it right now.. once the ranking starts the real fun begins. Speaking of visual ranking of beliefs, wouldn’t it be cool if Standpoint can use the Colors of Thinking of Spiral Dynamics? In my dreams.

Overall Standpoint looks like another fun and promising social networking hangout place. But if you’re looking for passionate and compassionate people who not only believe that they can “change the world” but also put their beliefs into action, Zaadz is the social networking site for you.

My favorite Standpoint functionality: “Change your mind?