What began as a desire to broaden her media consumption to improve her language fluency, Carol Glenn’s just-launched platform Adduna (funding now on Kickstarter) grew into an app that allows and encourages individuals to “find, share and discuss media by country, culture and identity.” Aggregating podcasts, books, articles and videos from all over the world, Adduna aims to provide users with perspective, Glenn tells us. “Most of us think that if we’ve learned about an issue from the Left and the Right, we’re pretty knowledgeable,” she explains. “But Adduna has more of a stakeholder approach.”
Apps and social media platforms abound, but Adduna isn’t just adding to the noise—it’s a platform for the culturally curious that’s tuned for openness and discovery. “As the presidential election drew closer and the dangerous effects of social media became more obvious, I got serious about making sure I wasn’t creating something that would just add to the problem. I tried to build every core feature with the idea of reversing social and political polarization in mind,” Glenn says.
Eschewing the algorithmic style of most popular social media platforms (which pigeon-hole users according to one or two “interests,” hindering their discovery), Adduna encourages exploration by viewing their users as multi-faceted individuals. The app recommends content, but keeps various filters visible so users don’t get stuck with a homogenous content feed. Essentially, while some feeds feel flooded by white, straight, cisgender, “traditionally” attractive American influencers, Adduna wants to broaden our horizons and show us more—mixed in with dancing influencers, if you enjoy them.
This is possible because Adduna users select their own interests and groups, which also encourages connection and community. “Most social media companies point you to a single feed that is meant to encompass all of your interests. With Adduna, content recommendations will only come from and be displayed in your groups,” Glenn explains. “Say you join a group for international climate activists. When you’re on that group’s page, Adduna will recommend content that is relevant to you specifically—for example, news of a climate rally in Prospect Park. If you find that content compelling, you can share it with the rest of the group with a comment. The group then becomes a space for collaborative curation of relevant content. This approach allows you to explore all kinds of interests without worrying about how those interests will affect your main feed—because there is no main feed.”
Adduna promises to provide a more balanced but broadened worldview for users, while simultaneously catering to one’s personal interests, style and taste. Glenn explains that Adduna is for those “who want a more authentic and nuanced view of the world we live in.”
She continues, “I think most people are naturally curious about other perspectives, but they still want to have a sense of community with people who are like them. But if most platforms punish you for learning new things by pushing you further away from the people you feel safe with, we’re going to keep living in a world where strangers are considered enemies.” Adduna aims to change that, and you can support their Kickstarter now.
Images courtesy of Adduna