Dave Rubin used his show today to announce the launch of his new venture, Locals.com, “subscription-based communities that give power to creators, not platforms.”
“Today, is a big day. We’ve got some announcements and some major stuff cooking,” Rubin said to introduce his venture. “This is basically going to be a live stream that will culminate a year of my life that I really haven’t been talking about, that I’ve been kind of teasing about for the last year.
“But on top of doing this show, and touring, and going to colleges, and standup, and writing a book—somehow I managed to squeeze that in, in the last year or two—I also started a tech company…to solve as many of the problems that are humanly possible that we all know are sort of the biggest problems of the day.”
Rubin said he wasn’t talking about political problems, cultural problems or just social problems—he was talking about all of them at once, especially in the context of tech often making them worse.
Using his own show as an example, Rubin talked about the high-quality production they routinely release on YouTube—one rivaling a television studio production. In spite of that, it’s extremely difficult to engage with subscribers. De-boosting, de-ranking and shadow-banning are just a few of the words used to describe how tech companies manipulate viewership and subscriber bases.
Another concern Rubin talked about was tech companies being the gatekeepers of free speech. When there are large, monolithic platforms, there have to be one-size-fits-all rules about what can and cannot be said. Unfortunately, that often leaves room for abuses on all sides.
The goal of Locals.com is to avoid all of those challenges by creating smaller communities, each with their own rules and guidelines their members must follow. Therefore, for his own community, he has set very open guidelines, only banning things that violate the law or constitute ‘schmucky, troll-like’ behavior. Rubin likened it to inviting people to his home. While he is a firm believer in free speech, that doesn’t mean he wants everyone and anyone coming into his family’s home and saying whatever they want with no regard for him or his family. Having smaller communities, rather than monolithic platforms, gives community leaders and creators that ability to define the atmosphere for their own community.
Rubin also highlighted the collaborative nature of Locals.com, where different communities can join together and cooperate on their feeds, essentially creating networks of like-minded communities. This, in turn, gives creators the ability to more quickly grow their subscribers and reach.
Locals.com already has some big-name creators onboard, with Rubin promising more information and reveals in the coming weeks. If his plan is as successful as it has the potential to be, Locals.com could well be one of the most successful and revolutionary ways for creators to finally control their own destiny.