The first ideas related to addle started many years ago, and the site was also launched with a basic description of the system a while back.. but the basic concept was still way ahead of its time. Now, in the light of the “Fake News” fiasco, the time has become more “ready” – perhaps not yet ripe, but at least somewhat open for business.

Let’s start by zooming out and trying to explain the idea generally – from a “bird’s eye view”.

Fundamentally, it’s all about the interplay between two important concepts in the “information retrieval” (search) space: ads and adds.

It’s odd that some people sometimes seem to confuse these two – they seem much more like two completely different ball games. Yet some people also seem to see some interplay between the two, insofar as an ad may very well at some point lead to additional customers.

Nonetheless, the addle idea is also completely different – insofar as addle does not even use ads (or advertising). All of the content on an addle-based website is completely member-supported.

Therefore, addle websites are a completely new breed of media – enabled by some very significant economic shifts that have taken place in publishing (see e.g. “The Intention Economy“). Addle websites take an intermediate position between “traditional media” (also sometimes referred to as “traditional publishing”, including newspapers, radio, television and similar type of “mass media”), in which very few people create content for very many consumers and the very individual (or “personal”) website or blog. Think of the numbers as something like this:

  • mass media: created by very few for very many

  • individual site: created by one for relatively few (“friends”)

  • addle websites: managed by relatively few for moderately many

Note that there is also another difference: Addle websites are intended to be managed rather than created. With addle-based websites, content need not be created at the site, but rather is syndicated (imported) from sites created by members. What is more: whereas individual / personal websites are created by individuals for “relatively few” friends, the relatively few who manage an addle-based website do so not exactly as friends, but rather as members of communities based on particular topics – perhaps you could call these communities of engagement (see also “Brand Identity vs. Topical Engagement: A Case Study“).

Using the addle model, more and more people will ultimately become active supporters of causes they care about. Granted, since most people have grown accustomed to being passive consumers of the “free” advertising and propaganda created by the minority, it might not be easy to change their approach towards becoming not only responsible human beings, but even towards creative and independent types of thinking. I expect that many of the vast majority of consumers may very well be unprepared to exercise their own freedom to think and act in their own fashion. Beyond that, I can also imagine many other obstacles (see, for a good introduction to the kinds of issues that might make the development of a more participatory society than the one we currently have, “The antidote to apathy”).

Our intention is to use this website as a testing ground for the development of systems that support such community engagement as envisioned in this approach. I welcome your participation – if you would also like to engage / participate, please start here! 🙂