Zurker: Open Social Network, where you 'own' your data

By | July 2, 2012
Hm. I am intrigued by the idea that Zurker presents, but not impressed by the non-professionalism of the legal presence of their site.

Their idea
Quoting their homepage, At Zurker, … [y]ou don't just own your data, you own the network. Every Zurker user can very easily become a co-owner (future shareholder) of Zurker.

… and the loose, fishy details
1) 'Ownership' is not ownership. 'Ownership', in the terms of v-shares which they use to define the ownership that they offer to users, is not the same as actual company ownership. It is rather a share in equity – sort of like a corporate bond holder. A fine distinction, but not an owner, only a beneficiary.
2) No public monetization plan. Hosting data and services costs money. There is a list of who paid how much monetary support, but no plan available on how they plan to commercialize, especially when they claim not to own the data.
3) No data privacy agreement. Other than saying your data belongs to you, they do not state where your data is stored, who is allowed to view it, or who you should contact to delete it. If you haven't learnt from Klout's non-delete policy yet, … sigh. Then again, they're only in alpha, so it could just be too premature for monetization plans.
4) No mention of whose laws they follow. From what I can tell, Zurker Europe is run out of Belgrade, Ireland. But I can't find an address for them anywhere or any other information on the commercial entity behind this site. And worst of all, this information is only available after you sign up.

My profile is pretty public, and so I've gone ahead and registered with my public information. It is still invite only, but if, despite the warnings above, you do want to have an investigative look, go ahead here: http://www.zurker.eu/i-260279-ggxikdrwfe

/via +Anna-Lena Koenig 

ANY EMAIL, ANY PASSWORD. Zurker is currently in beta testing, and is not available to the general public without an invitation.

6 thoughts on “Zurker: Open Social Network, where you 'own' your data

  1. Brian Lofstedt

    +Sophie Wrobel Well, thankfully I didn't really study specific models. I know more about how to run a business than how to create one, but to be honest I'm no Einstein. I mean, no one coming straight out of college really knows exactly what they're doing. In my opinion, the learning process continues long after we've left the classroom. As you mentioned, especially with Internet businesses, new profit models are popping up daily. Many websites seem to rely on subscriptions, advertising, and premium features for monetary gain.

  2. Sophie Wrobel

    +Brian Lofstedt Congradulations on your diploma! Now for the hard part: can you unlearn everything you just learned? The internet is tearing conventional models apart faster than education can keep up with new ones…! 😉

  3. Sophie Wrobel

    +David Rooke Note that the 'chiefs' are 'Operators' – this is currently two. The power remains in the hands of a governing board. The 'owners' are 'equity owners' – meaning they have no say other than through the electory processes in the self-government system and share of profits, but they are not invited to meddle in running the daily business.

    Let me try to explain 'equity' a bit more simply… but first we need to understand 'normal' stocks. +Brian Lofstedt I hope this helps.

    Normal stocks: You buy a stock. Say you own 1 stock, and there are a total of 100 stocks issued for the company Now you own 1% of the company and have a 1% say in all decisions.

    Certificate: You buy a certificate. Say you buy 1€ certificate and that there are a total of 100€ in certificates issued for the company with an annual cupon of 5%. This says that you've paid 1€ to the company, and in exchange for your investment, you are entitled to have part of the profits (1% of the big jackpot of profits), at least 5% interest per year unless the company is unable to find 0.05c to pay you.

    Zurker's vShares: The v-share is sort of like a certificate: With the share, you hold the magic ticket to a small fraction of the company's profits. But you only get that money if the company is profitable. In addition, you are allowed to take place in democratic decisions on certain issues which the board of dictators (i.e. operators) ask for your input. For example, you can vote on who gets onto the board of dictators, but you cannot decide on how much money goes into the payout jackpot for intvestors.


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