The new thing nobody needs, but everybody wants
Currently my profile is hidden from public view, but if are signed up you can find me there at ello.co/getpunched.
If you haven't heard of Ello.co by now, and are interested in social media development, this is their mission in a nutshell:
Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers.
We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.
Their mission goes even farther in stating their raison d'etre:
Your social network is owned by advertisers.
Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded, and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.
We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity, and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.
We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.
You are not a product.
Of course this sounds awesome, but it remains to be seen how it pans out. There have already been complaints about the founders taking VC money, and that this alone accounts to some kind of "the future is written" treason. My take is use at your own risk, and don't expect it to be a precious store for your info. That'd just be dumb.
Anyway, in that regard, I had posted some early thoughts on the site on my Ello account, but thought I'd compile them here for posterity:
From my Ello account
- Here's a good post on the recent boom of @Ello. It's literally seen a spike in the last 48 hours. The question will be how it's adopted, and how the dev team manages monetization. The gist of the article is we are no longer internet noobs, and FB has over-reached in it's control, privacy and tweaking of content in our feeds.
At this point I just like the idea of starting over somewhere else. Here's a short list, in no particular order, of what I like about it so far:
I can drag/drop to organize friends from the "I met you once at bandcamp" people.
It's design heavy, but I'm a designer so, that's how they "get to me".
Markdown for formatting. Simple. No b.s. WYSIWYG editor with code tangles in the background.
Multiple options for shaping you posts via the content boxes - much like Squarespace. So conceivably, you could use Ello for a blog-ish thing at some point. Bands and artists may shift from Tumblr as a news hub apart from their portfolios. But that jumps the shark on a whole other set of interface issues.
Best of all Scarecrow... there's just less of everything. No ads. No algorithm tweaking. Basic functions and controls.
The trick with any new social site is adoption.
It's no fun if people you know aren't there too. Also, people have a built in sense that "I don't need another social network". It's true. You don't. You need a new one. FB is like the sole of an old shoe that will never wear out. It's worn out and frustrating, but it still works and you are familiar with it.
I'm interested in being able to pay for new features. What a cool sounding monetary model. Don't give everyone everything. Let them choose. I wish big cable would get on that train. The features I'm looking forward to are mostly related to allowing this service to integrate into my daily online life. Merging Twitter and Ello will be a big win. A simple way to manage multiple accounts if I want use Ello for my design studio as well.
I think my take-away from the experience with Ello for the last couple days has been one of closely examining why I use FB, and why I won't just delete my account forever. I've complained about it enough like everyone else. I think I don't like being apart of collective complacency.
>"We’re not here to try and rule the world,” [Ello founder Paul Budnitz] says. “We’re not trying to collect everyone’s data and make a virtual image of everyone in the world and sell that. We’re building a business. Our business does not have to be worth a billion dollars for this to be profitable and for it to work well. It can just be a good business.”