Meet ‘Lift’, the New Social Network from Twitter’s Founders

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Don’t look now, there’s another social network lurking, and with Twitter’s best and brightest pulling the strings, it already has all the proper buzz-wordy tags. “Interesting,” check. “Unlocking human potential,” check. “Positive reinforcement,” check and—wait a second, positive reinforcement? What are we, a Pavlovian experiment?

Don’t answer that, though I gather Twitter mucky-muck Biz Stone (and cohorts) plan to soon enough. Stone just dropped a bloggy tease on his web media incubator The Obvious Corporation’s site titled “Unlocking Potential” about what sure sounds like a new social networking thingamajig dubbed “Lift.”

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Oh they’re not actually calling it a social network yet. That’d be too—wait for it—obvious. In fact Stone’s appeal to readers is more of a folksy “it’s important never to delude ourselves into thinking that technology changes the world” (pretty sure we’re all aware HAL, Shodan and GLaDOS are fictional entities, guys).

It apparently looks a lot like Twitter, too, only “with more structure.” That’s according to ReadWriteWeb, which traced Lift back to something called Mibbles just a few weeks ago (that project’s site,, now automatically redirects viewers to The plan with Mibbles was apparently to allow people to track their daily goals and accomplishments with friends and sort of collectively chart everyone’s progress.

“We’re both interested in ways new technology can help unlock human potential, especially through the use of positive reinforcement,” writes Lift co-founder Tony Stubblebine in a post echoing Stone’s at Stubbleblog. “We do have a prototype, but we’re a long way from opening the doors.”

That prototype’s in “private Alpha,” and you can sign up to potentially have a gander by visiting, where you’ll discover—surprise!—an actual lift (or as we say in the U.S., an elevator—”lift” would be the British term) with an upturned dirigible (or zeppelin) crossing the doors, which, you have to admit, aren’t very well put together, what with all that mysterious light leaking through.

What’s on the other side, Katy Perry’s sequined dress?

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Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.