Louise Mensch, the sometimes controversial UK Conservative MP, has apparently become fed up with Twitter and launched her own version — amazingly titled Menshn.The site was designed for those who found Twitter “frustrating”, Mensch told the Guardian.
“This is an idea that I’ve had since Christmas. I’ve been a passionate user of social media since the days of AOL chatrooms, and that was the inspiration really,” she says. According to an interview with Mike Butcher at Techcrunch, the site is receiving interest from venture capitalists.
The site isn’t a total Twitter rip off — users are given 100 random followers when they sign up, and messages can be 180 characters long (that’s 40 more than Twitter!). Conversations are also limited to certain discussions, giving the site a chat room-esque feel, and there’s a gamification element with “Menshn” points.
In a somewhat strange move (considering Mensch’s British roots), the site is only in the US at present and topics are currently limited to political discussions.
We’ve had a little play around on the site, and it’s actually pretty nicely designed. The user with the second most “Menshn” points is “Niall Ferguson” (or, more likely, someone pretending to be him):
Whatever the success of the site, it’s sure to provoke a wide reaction. Mensch herself is a somewhat controversial politician in the UK, becoming a household name for a public tiff with Piers Morgan during last year’s phone hacking controversy.
Since then she’s rarely been out of the spotlight, proclaiming herself the victim of a “smear campaign” after she was accused of taking drugs at a jazz club in Birmingham, and later complained about being objectified for her looks in British GQ (while a highly-stylised photoshoot of her accompanied the article).
To her critics, Mensch is all about the PR, and the latest venture will probably be viewed through the same lens — the site’s name is her name, for Christ’s sake!
On that last note, Mensch disagrees. “It’s a play on the word mention,” she told the Guardian.
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