If you think Facebook and MySpace are crowded
with brainless average Joes, then you should
check out IntelligentPeople.com, a new social
network with a self-described mission to
“[offer] you the opportunity to meet and form
relationships with people who, like you, have
an IQ higher than the average person.” However,
to become a member, you must pass the website’s
IQ test. Despite its revolutionary appeal,
I think the folks at IntelligentPeople.com are
missing the mark on this one.
First of all, I like the differentiation concept.
If you consider the existing state of affairs carefully,
you will quickly realize that most social
networks are packed with—for the lack of a better
qualifier—dull people. How can you establish
a meaningful conversation with a super-poking,
Although I do think there are nice, fairly interesting
people using most social networks,
they are a small, hardly noticeable minority.
Because of this situation, there is a genuine necessity
to move from a general, let-everyone-in
community to a more specialized type of networking
website, such as networks of people
with similar characteristics and interests.
One excellent example is LinkedIn.com. This site
targets individuals looking to expand their professional
network while enabling them to post
questions and retrieve answers from experts in
Another exceptional example is Ning.com.
The minds behind Ning.com decided to take
things up a notch by letting users create their
own fully customizable social network centering
on any topic. In fact, the last time I checked,
HookahDomain was one of the most popular networks
However, the customization movement has
taken a life of its own. Even cats have social
networks nowadays, and I am not talking about
icanhascheezburger.com. Yes. Cats! Check out fuzzster.com. Go. Do it. You never saw that coming,
So why do I think IntelligentPeople.com is such
a bad idea? The site’s attempt to differentiate
itself from other social communities is not the
problem. (Personally, I think that’s brilliant.)
However, the issue resides in its implementation.
The requirement for prospective users to
take a test is bound to entice people to do the
Yes, people may, and most likely will, cheat.
Someone will find a way to bypass the website’s
idiot-proof mechanism. Someone may
even publish the answers online to prove that
“they’re not that smart after all.” The result will
be another swarm of half-witted users clogging
What about the test itself? Will it be general
enough to overcome cultural and educational
biases? The site’s creators have assured that
this will not be an issue; however, I have
Regardless, I give kudos to the guys at IntelligentPeople.com. Even if their modus operandi
may not be the best, it is definitely a step in the
right direction. I wonder what they will think of
next. Consider the options:
Jokes are what we’re all about.
Because life is a female dog and then you die.
Because Wii can.