The hot new social media network du jour this month is Path. The mobile app which allows you to share your life’s path with up to 150 friends (up from its original limitation of 50) got a shot in the arm recently with a new user interface (which is quite lovely) and an ensuing round of good publicity. Shortly after its profile in the USA Today last week, I noticed a big surge in people wanting to friend me there.
I’ve been experimenting with Path for about a year now. It’s a neat concept, but its the concept that people don’t seem to get. Instead of friending everyone you know like you do with other social networks, Path is built so that you connect with just the people you really know. As such, it’s a place where many users share much more unfiltered versions of themselves.
Just because there’s another social network out there doesn’t mean you have to be the fastest to 10 million friends. You also don’t have to figure out how to use it for business purposes. The first person who comes out with a Path ranking can kiss my ass and is forever launched into the Hall of Fame of Dumbasses.
It might just be that Path is your own little family and friends network away from the big playgrounds of Facebook and Twitter. It might just be that here you share your family pictures and notes about your kids and not worry about who might see them because the 60 people you’re connected to are people who may babysit for you at some point.
The point of Path is to carefully select and curate who sees your stuff. Maybe this is a chance for you to reset and grow into a social network naturally rather than trying to be Johnny Marketer on the Spot.
If I friend you on Path (and yes, I went an curated a bunch of people last night), it’s because I know you personally. You’ve probably met my family. I would trust you to watch my kids. If you’re not in that circle, don’t friend me there. Or at least don’t expect me to friend you back.
It’s not personal. The app is.
Note: Hat tip to Aaron Marshall for inspring this post.