Zaadz, a social network
Zaadz is a social network in two senses: first of all it is a social network like MySpace or Hyves because people can communicate share and many other things on this site if they have an account. The difference with Zaadz is that it also has this other social network meaning: it is social in the sense that it is concerned for others. These others can be interpreted in a very broad manner because you can be concerned for other cultures, for the environment and for any animal of your choice. The mission of Zaadz is to make the world a better place in every sense and it’s motto is: “Zaadz: Connect. Grow. Inspire. Empower.”
The name comes from the dutch word for seed which is zaad, which is used to imply the idea of growth. Why there is the additional ‘z’ is not mentioned and nor why the dutch language is chosen for this great honour.
It is clear that this site differs from other social networks because it has set a purpose for itself: it wants more than the ‘meaningless’ connection that Hyves offers.
This is an admirable idea but it achieves little more than connecting people that share this goal. The site gives away an ‘alternative hippie’ feeling but perhaps that is not the right way to describe it. In dutch the right name for it is ‘geitenwollensokken’ but there is no English word for that as far as I know.
When you become a member at Zaadz you have to give yourself a title. If it is hard to imagine what this title may be a few examples are given such as Philosopher or Thinker. Also, at Hyves it is possible to join a ‘Hyve’ and at Zaadz there are ‘ideas’ and ‘goals’ that can be joined. Another very lovely part of the Zaadz page is that if you have no ‘friends’ at Zaadz it still says on your page: You have many friends! 0 of them are here at Zaadz. Everything about the site is very nice, very lovely and very sweet. The goals however are being talked about but no action comes from it as far as I’ve seen on the page: the world changing has yet to be taken place. I asked about this on a forum but unfortunately there was no answer. Next to that it is not always that easy to find your way through the site but that is no different from other networks like Hyves in my opinion. The basics of social networks are all there at Zaadz: a blog, a possibility to share photos and videos, to chat with others, etc.
It is nice that there are other sites that people use, other than the monopolies in this area; MySpace worldwide and Hyves on a smaller more regional scale. What is important for some may not be for others and the possibilities at Hyves are different from the ones at Zaadz, looking from the visual perspective. Zaadz is different because its network is more homogeneous, all it’s members share a certain ideology. Hyves and MySpace are for everyone, Zaadz is for everyone who cares about the world and wants to talk about it. I will probably not become an active member of Zaadz because it is too idealistic for me. It gives me an itchy feeling because the site makes me laugh but I feel I shouldn’t because the intentions are so good.
It is a lovely site because it is nice to see people care, to see the pure idealism it is about. It would be nice if something practical came from it but nevertheless it is no doubt a nice place for idealistic idealists.