When SpokeUp.com launched a few weeks ago, I was a bit confused. Where's the social voting? Where's the splashy Web 2.0 design?
I gave it another chance and I'm glad I did, because SpokeUp.com is a smarter kind of social network. Instead of just voting, you actually have to comment, bookmark articles, blog, or post a short blurb to the site's wire in order to participate.
SpokeUp.com is technically a niche network. It's geared primarily towards politics, government and the economy. But I've posted tech and search news and still found interest. The idea is in the name: to speak up about the things that are on your mind that need to be addressed. There's all sorts of people from all types of persuasions. So far, the discourse is cordial and hopefully it will remain that way.
The best thing about it is that you can't game the system like Digg. Adding friends won't gain you any points, votes or power. The system is simple. Once you're logged in, if you head to the "Activity" tab you'll see what's been posted in chronological order, simple as that.
SpokeUp.com reminds us that the web, yes even the social web, can be smart. It's not about design and it's not about trend. It's truly about conversation and community.