A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:
What: ZoeCity Software, Bellevue
Who: Colin Wong, 36, CEO
Mission: Create a social network for the Christian community.
Safety net: Anyone who logs on is designated “red.” Those who supply a working phone number are “yellow”; a credit-card number will get you designated “green.” This makes all participants accountable — you can create a group for green users only, which will consequently make the social-networking neighborhood more exclusive.
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Gates of heaven: ZoeCity invites users to post secular content as long as it doesn’t violate the site’s code of conduct and content policy. But any spiritual content must abide by the Christian faith, with a more thorough scrutiny process than on the “mainstream” social networks. Additionally, the premium service includes real-time monitoring.
Financials: The private company has yet to make a profit, and plans to generate revenue the old-fashioned way: advertising. Additionally, it wants to partner with global Christian groups to drive large numbers of users to the site.
My holy space: “The most popular social networks treat all friends the same,” Wong said. “If you are a friend, then you get to see the entire user’s personal information. In the real world, we all have friends that are based on context. Your work friends are different from your best friends. They are also different from your family. We allow you to segment your friends to different circles and then assign privacy rights to what they can or cannot see.”
Common courtesy: Wong said the moderating process will not stifle free expression. “There may be a difference about baptism, whether it requires total immersion or just a handful of water over the head,” he said. “We will encourage these healthy discussions, as long as there are no personal attacks.”
— Charles Bermant