I was a Path user about a year ago and loved it then but was very disappointed when the team launched a new version of the app which forced me to completely integrated with Facebook. I’m not a huge Facebook user, so this caused me to drop the app like a bad smell. It made me sad because one of the main reasons I loved the first iteration of Path was that it provided me the feeling of being with my best friends, whenever I was having a ‘moment.’
When Path launched originally, Ross introduced it to me and explained that it was built around sharing moments. I was hooked instantly. I share a lot of stuff on Twitter, but I’d dare say most of that is either talking with others about news or stuff that’s relevant to location. I also use Twitter to connect with new people and my community at large – it’s an amazing service for bring more amazing people into my life. Path provided me something new. It provided the chance to share intimate moments and happenings that were special to me, with people that were very special to me. Semantics, maybe, but that’s why the tighter integration with Facebook killed the first version of the app for me. It made it feel less intimate and just another place to speak. When I posted something to Path, it meant something to me.
And so, when Justine told me that the new version was beautiful, I nearly didn’t believe her but went and updated the app. And it’s beautiful.
Yesterday I caught up with Jason, Nathan and Ross for breakfast; followed by a walk along St Kilda and Port Melbourne beach before dinner on Acland St. Whilst we we’re together, we chatted about a whole host of things, but also posted a few special moments to Path. In that time, we shared what Eddie was doing and also reminded Justine (a fellow Yammerati) that it’s the weekend in Australia at the moment and so it was okay that we weren’t working hard! It was a lovely day, which we finished by comparing Christmas parties with James, Luke and Rez.
I’m excited by the new Path, because it offers a new type of stream in the social media landscape. When Facebook and Twitter launched years ago, they offered us something new. The chance to connect with people without needing to know them. It provided this because it became easier for people to share what was happening in their lives. People had always been able to blog, but it’s a hard habit to keep up and takes an investment most people don’t want to make. I’ve been blogging for 4 years now, but have only posted 140 times. I’ve been using Twitter for about the same time, and have posted more than 10,000 times.
Twitter and Facebook changed the investment required to post something, but because it was so new most people added people to their stream and ended up with hundreds, if not thousands of connections. Some of us learned to deal with the stream but a host of people I know have continued to follow people and instead use various apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to segment their follow lists, always battling to keep the tools relevant.
This is why Path is important to me and why I’m excited to see where Dave Morin and the team take it. We now have multiple streams in our lives, which brings more complexity into how we decide to spend our attention. Path provides a place where I can give attention to the people that are closest to me, in the same way that Twitter gave me the ability to give attention to the people that I didn’t know yet and Yammer provided me the ability to provide attention to the work my colleagues are doing.