GetVokl: Group Video Conversations

December 15, 2018 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby
November 26, 2018 zan

GetVokl is a social media or 'social television' platform that allows influencers and community leaders to engage with audiences via video and chatbox with their audience. GetVokl conversations are streamed live across platforms.

Problems and Purpose

GetVokl was designed to address two problems of the modern digital age: algorithmic filtering and inauthentic representations of the self through social media. 

Social media algorithms are designed to filter content based on a user’s predicted likes and interests. The resulting ‘filter-bubbles’ have created online spaces ‘safe’ from opposing opinions or view points. Users in each bubble interact in ‘echo chambers’ with like-minded individuals who reinforce, justify, and support one another's opinions and biases with no access to dissenting or challenging voices or information.[1]

The problem of inauthentic representation on social media accrues from the ability and predilection of users to carefully curate and edit that which they make public. Pictures, profile information, and posts are thus only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ with the complex realities of an individual's’ life hidden from public view.[2] What results is two-fold: first, a false sense of reality in which everyone is always ‘at their best’. This can lead to an unhealthy self-image and pressures to conform.[3] Second, communication and interaction between users is ‘thin’: based on limited information of ‘the other’, devoid of the empathy and understanding inherent in face-to-face conversation, and which can lead to volatile exchanges on divisive subjects.[4, 5]

In response, the GetVokl online tool brings face-to-face interaction back to the internet. GetVokl give provides a safe space where users can be their ‘authentic selves’ and engage in moderated conversations on difficult subjects.

Origins and Development

GetVokl was originally conceived as a “healthy” social media platform: consisting of focused, structured conversation and break out rooms. Since its founding in 2015, GetVokl has evolved to be a platform where anyone can bring a meeting, a town hall or a collaborative together in one open source format. Marketing itself as a kind of “social television”, GetVokl allows diverse groups of people to interact around specific topics in communities created and maintained by ‘thought leaders’. 

How it Works

GetVokl is open to anyone with an internet connection. Users must verify their identities to sign up - with either a mobile phone number or Facebook account. Once registered, users can either join an ongoing conversation ‘broadcast’ or start a private room and invite guests through link-sharing.[6] 

Broadcasts allow hosts to create an open, topic-based conversation available on the GetVokl homepage and streamed simultaneously across Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, and Twitter. Users must apply for broadcasting privileges and they are granted at the discretion of GetVokl outreach management. Those with the ability to broadcast can also record and save their broadcasts on their personal channel.[6] 

Broadcasts and channels are grouped around topics including: coaching, culture, education, entertainment, mental health, movies & TV, politics, religion & spritiuality, science & tech, sports, and other.[7] 

Users may join live discussions if there are spots available. A host manages the conversation with up to three guests “on stage” (the live video feed) at a time. The host can cycle through the guests they bring on stage and all four can interact with each other via text in the chat box on the left of the screen.

Users can subscribe to broadcaster (host) channels to get notifications, updates, and reminders of upcoming conversations. Users can ‘follow’ and chat with other users that ‘follow’ them back’.

Analysis and Lessons Learned

GetVokl has not yet undergone any academic study or analysis. 

See Also

GetVokl (organization)

Online Deliberation (method)

Reflect! Online Deliberation Platform (tool/technique)


[1] Pariser, E. (2011). The filter bubble: What the Internet is hiding from you. Penguin UK. 

[2] Sunstein, C. R. (2018). # Republic: Divided democracy in the age of social media. Princeton University Press.

[3] Seidman, G. (2013). Self-presentation and belonging on facebook: How personality influences social media use and motivations doi:

[4] Sunstein, C.R. (2007). Republic 2.0. Princeton University Press.

[5] Stern, A.P. (2018). The psychology of Internet Rage. Harvard Health Blog. Retrieved from

[6] About. (2018). Retrieved from

[7] GetVokl Dashboard. (2018). Retrieved from

External Links

Official website -


Lead image: Zan Bennett/GetVokl