Cowgirl Confab: Pam and Sam talk about Path
Path is an app that lets you create an intimate social network of up to 150 people. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, Path is a purely mobile app and it is heavily photo-oriented, though you can also simply comment, share info on books and music, and upload videos. Your stuff is not visible on the web or to anybody who’s not your “friend” unless you choose for it to be. You carry around your favorite people in your pocket and share your world with them. It’s nice and cozy.
Q: How do you use Path?
Pam: I invited my closest girlfriends, about seven of them (most back in the States, so I miss them!), to join me on Path. I envisioned a “place” where I could post more mundane and personal stuff than I do on Instagram or elsewhere. Path is the only place I post pictures of my family or myself (until very recently). These people know me well enough that I can cut loose and not be judged by them. They know my sense of humor and irony, so when I posted a pic and my snarky comments about a gross French perfume ad I saw in Paris, I know they got it.
Sam: I wanted to use Path like Pam does, but I screwed up. I added close friends, close-ish friends, and some people that I only know online. Honestly, I regret it! Path is beautiful, the concept is delicious, but too many weeds grew up in my secret mobile garden. I deleted everyone, except for Pam and my husband, and am starting over. I think I may need to delete even the husband. A girl’s gotta have her secrets, doesn’t she?
Q: Was Path everything you’d hoped it would be?
Pam: The app is fabulous. It’s beautiful and incredibly easy to use. It turns out it was my friends who didn’t meet my expectations! Some just don’t have the app instinct (yet), others don’t take photos with their phones, others say they post their stuff on Facebook and don’t want to duplicate their efforts (although you can effortlessly post in the other direction, from Path to Facebook, with a single click), others say they’ve accepted invitations from too many strangers onto Path and now don’t feel like it’s intimate enough, another uses it only for herself and her husband (which is so cute!), another one doesn’t have a smartphone (I was hoping this would help her make the leap). Anyway, they’re not very present on Path, but some of them do show up every now and then.
Sam: I’m probably one of the friends who told Pam I have too many strangers over there. I really wish that Path would not tell my phone contacts that I have joined, or tell me when they have. If I want to be your friend on Path, I have already thought of you. I’d like the fact that I am on Path to be kept secret. I don’t mind ignoring follow requests, but it offends some people, and I am not insensitive to that. As for the interface, Path is gorgeous. Stunning really. It’s simple, pleasant to look at, easy to use. I have nothing negative to say in that regard. I did think the option of showing people when you are sleeping or awake is a little too much. And it took me a bit before I could figure out how to remove my location from photos, because, as Pam mentioned to me over there, “You may not want to be sharing where you are with Gawd and everyone.”
Q: So what is the key to getting the most out of Path?
Pam: A lot of the early adopters I know immediately became friends with all the same people they already follow on Twitter and Facebook and everywhere else. If you do that, there’s absolutely no point to Path. And so now a lot of those people are not even using it. What sets Path apart is the intimacy factor. So I think you have to decide what you’d like to get out of it before you start inviting and accepting invitations from god and everybody. I had to tell people who invited me to be friends that I was reserving the space for close IRL girlfriends. They weren’t offended. They understood. And please, please go into Settings and turn Neighborhood off. Otherwise your friends will see a stupid automatic message every time you wake up, go to sleep, leave the house… It’s just noise.
Sam: I agree with what Pam says, those are basically the reasons that I haven’t touched Path in six months. But I’m going to call a few good girlfriends this weekend, and see if I can convince them to join. We’ll see if things go better this time around. Oh, and if I don’t call you (Mom?), I’m sorry. I love you, but no, we’re not becoming friends on Path.
Pamela Poole put on her red cowboy boots and moved from San Diego to Paris in 2006. She's a translator and tech blogger who believes the Internet is the fountain of youth.
25. November 2012 by Pam
Categories: Artsy, Cowgirl Confab, Family, Fun, Photography | Tags: android app, apps for women, cowgirl confab, iphone app, mobile app review, mobile social network, Pam, Path, photography app, private social network, Sam, social network app | 2 comments