Sep 12th

The Vision of Polymathica.com

By MichaelF

My goal is to make Polymathica.com the place where Polymathicans start their day, get caught up on the world, meet and interact with friends, find the music, videos, books and games that appeal to Polymathicans, and build their Information Age careers and lifestyles.  We are starting with a canned 'network-maker' software, but over time, we will modify it until it is precisely what we want.

When they open their browser in the morning, most Polymathicans want to check their messages and catch up on what is happening in the world.  The problem that most of them have is that their idea of what constitutes news is different than most people.  So, Polymathica.com has a news tab that will report news that is targeted to Polymathicans.  Right now, this tab has some RSS feeds that might bring interesting articles to you.  However, as we grow, we will produce our own news feeds.  They will start out as print, but as we grow, we will have audio and video news as well.

Right now, the profile functionality is pretty basic.  It is similar to Facebook, but it lacks a few nice features and adds some different features, that I like.  Eventually, I imagine that your Polymathica home page will have the functionalities of blogger.com Here is my personal blog as an example.  Blogger.com provides up to 20 tabs.  With Polymathica.com, there will be some preformatted ones, 'news feed', photo albums, music, etc. and then you will be able to custom design your own tabs to fit your needs.  Another big difference from Facebook will be that you will be able to insert one ad, which could be adsense, Amazon ads or any other ad you want.

My logic is simple.  You put a lot of work creating your social environment on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, etc. and by creating that social environment you create page views that the website uses to advertise.  Typically, each page view is worth between .5¢ to 1.0¢.  So, you do the work and Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey and Larry, etc. are enriched.  Put simply, that doesn't strike me as fair.  So, if you post something and 50 friends read it, you will earn 25¢ to 50¢.  Its not much, but it is a matter of principle to me.

In 1999 I wrote an article predicting that the Internet would eventually kill cable and satellite tv.  Its happening right now.  It is still disorganized, but I think most people will see the writing on the wall.  So, we will have a tab, Polymathica TV.  At first, it will contain youtube style videos that are of particular interest to Polymathicans.  However, we already have one Polymathic Institute member who is producing videos, mostly documentaries.  That is where it will start.  Then we will start getting talk shows and news magazines.  Finally, we will get standard comedy and drama programming.  We will see how this will progress.  There will probably be a subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc.  There will be season pass, similar to Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, etc.  I question whether there will be ad supported programming, but there will probably be youtube style low budget productions that are relatively short with an opening ad.

Right now I am creating some online minicourses.  The first is 'Private Equity Investing in Information Age Startups'.  I have a 'to do' list of about 10 in total.  These will be found under a Polymathic Institute tab.  However, lifelong learning is a hallmark of Polymathicans and I will be actively encouraging other members of the Polymathic Institute to create online courses.  Also, we will build the functionality to enable online seminars, colloquys, etc.

The Polymath will be a weekly pdf magazine of analysis and commentary.  However, on Polymathica.com we will also have a professional blogosphere similar to Huffington Post, seeking alpha, etc.  Bloggers will be paid a portion of the advertising revenue.

I have put a lot of work into estimating the number of Polymathicans and I have settled around 4 million to 6 million.  Clearly, that is tiny compared to Facebook or Twitter.  However, it is large enough to finance all the things that we will want from our own portal.   We are just one week into our Alpha testing of this canned software.  Already we are making a list of modifications that we will want.  When we have a sufficient library of groups, forums, etc. we will go to Beta testing and we will increase our group from 50 to about 500.  We hope that this will be as easy as asking our Alpha testers to invite ten friends.  Once we are satisfied that the system is adequate, if not optimal, we will roll out Polymathica.com and lose the 'network-builder' portion.

Polymathicans need a Internet place.  Let's build it. 

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