Will ChekMarc make social media giants quake in their boots?
LinkedIn dominates the job-seeking side of social, Twitter the more casual business aspects, and Facebook seeks to connect friends and family.
Enter ChekMarc, which targets individuals looking to upskill and progress in their careers or learn more about personal hobbies.
The social platform has obtained a $3 million seed fund and is now available worldwide in 35 languages.
What is ChekMarc?
Think LinkedIn merged with Facebook and The Open University, and you start to get an idea of what ChekMarc is trying to achieve.
The platform works on the value of:
“Building impactful connections that unite humanity.”
The idea is simple, but if it takes off, powerful.
For example, digital marketers who struggle to convince their employers to invest in further training can gain free one-to-one advice on how to upskill via the platform.
Businesses are not allowed to advertise, and users are forbidden to request money. ChekMarc believes that time, experience, and knowledge should be the platform’s focal point, not monetary gains.
Users can choose to be explorers, catalysts, or both.
What Are Explorers?
Explorers refer to people looking for career or personal guidance. Whether they aim to write a book or learn a skill that will put them on the path to promotion, they can ask for help or advice, and if someone within the community wants to, they can reach out and connect.
To submit a post or request assistance, Explorers complete a form that specifies:
- What topic they are exploring.
- The category their question falls under.
- The time-frame they are hoping to receive an answer.
- The option to add a hashtag or offer additional information.
- The choice to include an image or video.
- Any specific Catalysts they want to invite to the post.
Before either saving the post to push live later, save and publish immediately or cancel the entire thing.
What Are Catalysts?
Catalysts is the name given to community members who have knowledge and experience they wish to share.
Catalysts can either type a topic into the search bar or navigate via the categories to find requests from users and respond.
Current categories are:
- Social Causes
- Home/Real Estate
- Personal Matters
From here, Catalysts can scour through posts, save them for later, reply or flag the post as inappropriate.
I Signed Up
I’m a massive fan of platforms like Ecosia, whereby just using the site means you’re doing your bit to make the world a better place.
We’ve all heard how damaging social media can be to mental health, so when I heard that a new social platform had been launched to ‘unite people in a positive way,’ I was intrigued.
However, I am also extremely wary of giving any information away online. I tend to stick to sites I know to be safe or as safe as possible.
And it’s not just me. Even big social giants like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are considered to be untrustworthy by a lot of Americans, so what hope do smaller platforms have?
Reading up on it, I was concerned about the information the site would require, as I kept seeing the term ‘verify,’ and one article even suggested I would have to include a picture of my driving license.
But I was curious, so I began the signing-up process and found it to be far less intrusive than I had anticipated.
I even had the option to hide certain information to remain as anonymous as possible.
Is ChekMarc safe?
I don’t think any digital platform will ever be 100% safe, but ChekMarc is CCPA and GDPR compliant and talks about your information’s safety in their help section.
The thing that put me off the most is the verification process. If my trust levels are so low in a new brand, the last thing I want to do is give them my card details (even if it is just for $1.60).
However, users are under no obligation to verify their identity – so I didn’t.
Those who want to be verified need to submit a valid government-issued ID or passport and pay the fee.
As a result, they have a ‘V’ displayed on their username; ChekMarc believes that this makes users more trustworthy.
Explorers can only publish three active requests at a time and twelve over the space of a year, so if you do choose to sign up, really consider your questions before posting them.
Similarly, each request can receive a maximum of twenty responses from Catalysts, so those who want to impart their wisdom should be sure of their ability.
There is also a limit to how many times you can edit your own account information. However, there is an option to contact the platform for help if you do reach this limit.
When I began the signing up process, I felt really uneasy; this was a site I knew very little about and is considerably new, but there is plenty of information on their site that puts my mind more at ease.
While ChekMarc is probably not very high on the social giants’ radars at the moment, I will definitely be watching this space to see whether it grows into something that makes heads turn.
Check out ChekMarc here.