I’ve been sitting on a few posts for the blog for awhile now, and I wasn’t sure what to write about, so I decided to throw about five different posts against the wall to see if any of them stuck.
In what roughly equates to a month of time, I have made posts ranging from EVE Online corporation management and opinion to random goings on with my first thoughts of PlanetSide 2 since the NDA had been lifted and the nagging feeling that not having a proper go at Windows 8 running on a native PC instead of in a virtualized environment. However, I think I’ve had the inspiration finally hit me about what to publish.
App.net (ADN) is a social network made in light of the mistakes that the other, mainstream networks have made in the name of profitability. Twitter is more of a direct competitor when you look at how the service works and what it’s designed to do, but philosophically, ADN is positioned to be its own monster.
Twitter’s recent tirade against developers, even to the point where businesses are being shut down by Twitter’s iron fist to become profitable as a public company, has drawn a lot of flak from the tech press, who are all pretty stuck on the service. With developers being limited to a certain ceiling of users (without the potentially expensive blessing of Twitter).
I think that ADN has a chance to remind the industry that service clones can be successful, even if ADN never reaches the numbers that Twitter does in the same amount of time. The fact that Dalton Caldwell founded a service in rebuttal of corporate powers such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. (Okay, so the third isn’t really a competitor, but it’s just a big network.)
I recently met up with Dalton and a majority of teh ADN crew along with users who could make it out to a pub near Half Moon Bay in California. Users were all upbeat about the potential that the service had, even if most of them considered themselves programmers who planned on using the API behind ADN at some point int he future. The few non-programmers in attendance still praised ADN for its potential success in extending Twitter in the right directions while establishing their own service with their own goals.
Shunning Twitter for how it has surrounded itself with questions about its future shouldn’t be the reason you join ADN, though. There is a pretty vibrant community of chronic early adopters who are on the ground floor and contributing in a big way, though they don’t know a bit of code. That the whole $50 pay-to-play thing does wonders about keeping spammers and annoying marketers.
Currently, the weak point about using the service is the fact that… you have to pay $50 to use it.
But that’s not really that big of a deal when you think about it. I pay more than $50 a year to host this blog, mainly because I think that having control over what shows up and how everything is designed here is important. Using a different product because you believe in what the product stands for or represents is part of that idea, in a way. Or something like that.
If you’re bored of Twitter and want to give your microblogging habit a bit of a gutcheck of sorts, give ADN a try. You can follow me at alpha.app.net/bcarr.