Facebook has become a town hall of sorts for the online cannabis community. It's not the best forum, though by default it has become the main place for the average cannabis user to find information. But a new social networking site, WeedPals, is hoping to change that with a ganja-centric layout and focus.
I wasn't able to reach the Mark Zuckerbong behind the site, but the mission statement on the website pretty much explains it all:
"WeedPals is a social network for everything surrounding cannabis usage and growing to the vibrant lifestyle and passions it promotes. At WeedPals, you not only can talk openly about cannabis to thousands including your friends, but include may [sic] more aspects of your lifestyle including entertainment, pop culture, trends and travel."
Essentially, WeedPals offers the same functions that many of us pot nerds are using Facebook for currently, allowing users to post status updates and photos about herb, create groups and generally discuss cannabis both recreationally and medically. For those of you who keep your cannabis lifestyle separate from your online persona for one reason or another, but still want a place to talk THC, this could be a perfect pot-friendly forum.
If you've used Facebook, you can figure out WeedPals. In fact, it is so similar to Facebook that the layout and even color scheme mirror the social networking giant. Finding friends, sending messages, creating groups and uploading photos and video are equally as simple as on Facebook. WeedPals also borrows from MySpace a bit, giving users the opportunity to select their mood from a list of a few dozen possibilities.
However, there are a few unique features. One is called the "community shout box" which is like a status update/chat box for everyone on the site, not just people on your friends list. The other is a "dislike" button, something ever-positive Facebook has never installed despite user demand over the years. WeedPals has also created a mobile app for the site, an imperative function for any social media.
But since I'm the only person on my news feed, and I only have one friend so far, things have moved somewhat slow. In fact, I seem to be the only person from Colorado on the site, which is full of Californians and Cali medical marijuana collectives.
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Not so many that the Colorado cannabis scene couldn't easily take this thing over in a week, though. Call me idealistic, but we could make it an online utopia of Centennial State cannabis discussion, free from the billion-dollar overlord that is Facebook!
Unfortunately, judging by how (un) popular Google+ turned out to be, most people will likely stay with Facebook for now (including myself). Still, I have a glimmer of hope, and I'll keep my WeedPals account going for a while. Feel free to add me as a friend.