Creative Currents #40

Have you heard about the ‘Cozy Web’? Let us take you through a rapid onboarding of the latest and best place to spend your time on the internet.

Venkatesh Rao coined the phrase "cozy web" to describe the internet's secluded enclaves, which are gate-kept (you need to be geeky enough to find these communities, be invited or apply) and to which we have all withdrawn in recent years for comfort and privacy. It’s the place we have discovered and are now deciding to connect with communities gathering around niche interests and to escape the invasive and and noisy clammer on Web 2 and open platforms.

So, why is this trend occuring?

With more and more people moving away from open platforms and deleting apps due to spending way too much time on them, there is a growing appetite for people to feel like they are part of a community that they have some control over and feel seen. Take Gucci’s Vault for example, the luxury fashion brand has launched a new online store that is the epitome of the cozy web. See what by Laurent Francois learnt when he went on Gucci Vault’s Discord server.

The takeaway?

Brands in the future should implement this by focusing on their community and two-way communication online. Here are 3 things you can expect to feel in your cozy web corner if you are exhausted, anxious and burnt out from the internet you have existed on until now? See below a diagram by Maggie Appleton that was created for the article entitled ‘The Dark Forest and the Cozy Web’.

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  1. Safety - The Cosy Web is built around the core idea that it’s gated. You won’t get infiltrated by ads or anything of the sort in your cosy corner.
  2. Privacy - There is not only a sense of privacy in your cozy corner of the internet it is also quite private. Everything you are connecting with other people on on the cozy web is encrypted and gate kept and therefore gives you some privacy from the free web.
  3. Revitalised - This new layer of the internet gives the feeling of a time way back when you first set up profiles on the now overcrowded social internet spaces. You felt excited and free with these new outlets that now barrage you everyday. Your cozy corner has the power to free you from the mass consumption of meaningless content and lead you towards more active, meaningful and cooperative models. Peer-to-peer interactions rather than being just a follower, interesting and informative content about your specific interest rather than a crappy mix of everything, and it almost feels more generative - sharing knowledge and pooling resources gives a sense of togetherness.