A safe, sane, secure place for you to organize, connect and share.
We all desperately want a better internet—one where we aren’t tracked by advertisers, distracted by clickbait, where dark money can’t influence elections, where hate can’t thrive and quickly spread.
But how, you might ask yourself, can I even begin to make that happen?
You can’t. Not alone. That future won’t be built by any one of us: we need to team up to do it. Here at Factr, we’re putting our faith in a small but strong group of you who give a damn about changing things. If you’re reading this, we think you might be one of them.
Even the smallest pledge for Factr is a vote for that better future.
Perhaps you’re thinking, I can only afford to pledge $1. What difference could that possibly make? Our answer: a big difference. Every single pledge sends a message that one more person is dissatisfied enough with the status quo to ask for something different.
Whether or not you ultimately choose to be an active member of Factr and participate in building that future with us, a small pledge simply says, “Yes, I want an alternative like this to exist. I don’t want a world where a few tech giants control the channels to and from my devices. I want to be in control.”
If you agree, cast your vote by backing this project.
Here’s how Factr is different:
- Control what you share and what you see
- Organize all your information in one place
- Save time, find focus, be productive
- No distractions, no ads, no tracking, no manipulation
- Powerful curation and presentation tools
- More conscious and productive engagement with your network
Factr is built to improve your digital life in a very simple way: we’ve removed the unwelcome aspects of most social networks, so that you can focus on what you want to do—without being manipulated, tracked, profiled, distracted, followed by ads, or served content unrelated to what you’re doing.
Instead, you determine exactly what you see, what you save, and what you share.
The result? A clearly focused, better organized, and more thoughtfully connected digital life, with you at the center.
Post. Save. Create.
Finally, there’s one place where you can post or collect just about anything.
Now, whenever you have something that matters to you—a thought, a note, a link, an image, a file, video, audio–you name it–just post it to Factr. It’ll be there, saved for later, in your private Factr inbox. Folders and tags make it easy to organize, and our search finds it quickly when you need it, from any device.
Want to share something with others? If you want to share it widely, post it to your Factr profile. Or if you want to share it privately, message it directly to another member or to a group.
- Create original posts
- Save and annotate links (pro tip: our browser extension makes it super easy!)
- Upload images, video, audio, docs, virtually any kind of file
- Add integrations including Twitter, and an increasing number of other apps.
Curate and customize with streams
If you want to collect or share even more powerfully, Factr streams are custom spaces where you can focus on one topic, issue, or project. You can save and organize content any way you want to. A stream can be public or private, and Factr’s access controls let you specify exactly which people you share it with. You can give them permission to view only, contribute new material, help edit the stream, or manage it with you.
- Create subject-specific focus
- Share with one, a few, or many (or just yourself)
- Drag and drop items from stream to stream or from your inbox
- Add folders to organize more deeply
- Customize display: cover image, icon, title, and description
- Customize order: by name, by post-time, or by custom time-line
- Customize notifications and emails to keep you current
Aggregate and filter
Monitor hundreds of websites and use Factr’s customizable filters to automatically distill relevant content in your streams.
- Combine RSS feeds and Google alerts for powerful automated scanning
- Create sophisticated filters to refine your results
- Create smart folders that collect items for you automatically
- Copy feeds from stream to stream
Factr is built to keep you on top of all the information you manage. Factr helps you organize it, annotate it, and find it quickly. Factr’s organizational tools are easily customized to your requirements as they change.
- Use folders to sort quickly and easily
- Add tags for easy reference
- Click to highlight important items
- Arrange by date to create useful timelines
- Add custom streams for any use
- Create smart folders to do work for you
- Drag and drop items to rearrange easily
- Customize notifications and emails to keep you current
Factr supercharges your work with others.
For groups or organizations, there’s a lot of redundant effort around information-gathering. Teams often operate in isolation from each other. Factr allows everyone to focus on curating what they know best and then share it with the people to whom it’s relevant. Everyone benefits, everyone saves time, and organizations can save a lot of money.
- Discuss and comment on individual items
- Highlight important content
- Create groups
- Message other members
- Create shared understanding across networks, large and small
- Stay up-to-date effortlessly
- Create and share reports and digests
Factr's range of search and discovery tools are focused on finding what you want, and filtering out what you don’t.
- Search Factr for items
- Find streams to follow
- Explore and discover new sources
- Create smart folders that collect items for you
- Access material from external sources, or Google alerts (or your Twitter feed!)
- Discover subject-matter experts outside your social bubble
We work for you, not advertisers
The key difference between Factr and the other social networks is the very nature of our business. We’re completely member-supported. You’re the boss.
- We don’t profit from selling your attention.
- We’ll never show you content you didn’t ask for.
- We’ll never sell your data to anyone.
Your privacy is our priority
Factr is built for your privacy and security like no other social network.
- Save personal items, visible only to you
- Share access to exactly what you choose, with exactly the people you choose
- Control roles and permissions like no other platform
Factr's built to help you out, not sell you out
Currently in private beta, Factr has been piloted by hundreds of individuals and teams of all kinds. It’s been used for almost every purpose and project you can think of, by academics, activists, artists, athletes, bakers, collectors, cooks, dancers, designers, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, forecasters, humanitarians, investors, journalists, knitters, novelists, parents, podcasters, researchers, teachers, and more.
Factr is built for people who care about knowledge, who collect and share ideas, articles, images—and for whom the discussion around them is something thoughtful and nurtured. Factr is for people who want to connect and share in distinctly different ways with different groups: colleagues, loved ones, neighbors, like-minded peers, or your entire network/public.
Factr is for individuals
- Collect information and organize for easy access
- Check in on all of your favorite websites in one place.
- Connect with others
- Share files one-to-one
- Organize personal documents, records, notes safely
Factr is for groups, teams, friends, and family
- Collaborate on research and knowledge-gathering
- Privately share pictures, video, artifacts
- Plan events, projects, or travel
- Share content related to common interests
Factr is for companies, communities, and organizations
- Real-time news and issue monitoring
- Cumulative knowledge base
- Simple-to-implement and inexpensive intranet
- Interaction with members
- Communication with the public
Co-founders Chris van der Walt and Michael Grossman have unique experiences that have shaped Factr.
Chris van der Walt has over 20 years of experience as a graphic and interaction designer across various sectors. For almost a decade, he worked at the United Nations , where he was a member of the founding team at Global Pulse, an innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General. The team sought to apply real-time and big data to sustainable development and humanitarian action.
Michael Grossman is a long-time creative director, editor, and consultant with over 30 years of experience leading multiple startups and legacy media brands into the digital arena. A charter member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (which has juried the Webby Awards since the mid-’90s), he’s focused on the evolution of content-sharing in online communities.
Chris and Michael certainly aren't working alone. Factr is built by a small but incredibly talented team of engineers, communications people, freelancers—and with the invaluable support and advice of our community of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and advisors.
Factr is an outgrowth of two projects that Michael and Chris were working on individually.
Coming out of the content world, Michael was creating a community where subject-matter expertise (rather than sheer popularity) was used to recognize value, amplifying weak signals.
After his time at the UN, Chris was working on a project focused on ways to collaboratively evaluate real-time intelligence, and quickly form and ratify actionable hypotheses.
After a lot of idea-sharing at their local coffee spot, they decided to team up. Now, their goal is to build a platform that gives members unequaled control of their information, and enhances their ability to discover, organize, and share knowledge—maximizing both privacy and productivity.
Kickstarter is a platform powered by participation
We’re launching on Kickstarter, because Kickstarter is an example of a project we love. While mostly strangers to each other, the Kickstarter community teams up to identify and elevate good ideas. We can't think of a better way to underline the people-powered vision of information sharing that we have for Factr.
To build a community that mirrors this, we see a two-step approach:
The first step is to earn your pledge, which is your vote for a more ethical social network. The more people that back our project, the more clear the need for change is, and the more viable Factr becomes. The money raised during this Kickstarter campaign will build the next set of features to give you control of the information in your life.
The second step is your participation, which will define our long-term vision. Factr is taking a revolutionary approach to creating a social network: a human approach. We will always remain true to our core values, but how the platform evolves (the features we prioritize, even our community standards) will be based on your feedback.
Why is our goal 50K?
$50,000 is clearly not enough to build a platform like the one we’re describing. We’ve already invested far more. We’ve been lucky enough to get this far with the help of a network of friends, colleagues, and family, and our own savings. We’re betting big on Factr.
Some in the investment community may not be attracted to this kind of venture, as we aren’t aiming to be the next unicorn. Instead, we’re working to craft a strong, steady, self-sustaining business, one that serves its community of customers and employees well.
So we’re taking a grassroots, community-driven approach to growth and funding. Reaching $50K is an incremental target, a goal that will enable us to launch with the set of features we’ve laid out here. There are even more useful features ahead on our product roadmap, and the more we can raise, the sooner you’ll have them in your hands!
Our roadmap (The more we raise, the faster you get these)
- New Android and iPhone apps
- Import content and groups from Facebook
- Import Twitter history
- Import browser bookmarks
- Import from Pinterest, Pocket, other collection tools
- Geotagging and location search/filtering
- Map view and pin-drop
- Group profile and inbox
- Post as a group
- Paid group memberships
- Member-to-member transactions
- Group subscriptions
- Slideshow view
- Expertise/reputation system
- End-to-end encryption
- Information fiduciary model
- Optional two-factor authentication
Free to join, get even more when you subscribe
Basic Factr membership is free, and always will be. It’s a great tool for your own personal use and/or small scale collaboration.
So how will our members support us?
Once you try Factr, and become a consistent user, our hope is that you’ll choose to become a supporting member. Support from our premium users will not only keep the platform going, but help us to continually improve it. And as with everything on Factr, you’re in control, so those improvements will be based on input from you, the community.
Risks and challenges
Factr is the culmination of years of experience and planning, and is being brought to fruition by a conscientious team of designers and developers. While there are always risks and challenges in creating a new platform and planning the growth of a new community, we’ve worked to minimize them.
We plan to onboard our first wave of new users in early July. Barring any unforeseen issues, that launch will contain an even more expansive suite of features than you see here, giving you even more control of your information.
While Factr is open to anyone, we do realize it isn’t for everyone. Surveys show that most (three out of every four) of the 200+ million users of major social networks in the US are happy, and say they wouldn’t pay for an ad-free alternative. But the other one in four (representing over 50 million people) are unhappy enough that they’d vote with their wallets to change it, saying they would be willing to pay anywhere from $5 to over $15 for an ad-free alternative.
Our projections have assumed paying membership from at the very most 1.5 percent of those 50 million. A risk is that even fewer of them follow through on their stated willingness to pay. Our research (and our pilot experience) also shows a sizable audience outside the social media audience: knowledge workers, community groups, businesses, NGOs, membership organizations, researchers, curators, educators, content creators, and more. We project a small number of paying members from these ranks. Again, our risk is that these groups do not take to Factr in accord with our modest projections.
Of course, many of these unknowns are up to you, our future members. If you’re willing to spread the word about Factr, we believe we have a great chance to eliminate those risks—and change the information landscape for good.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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