Social media has gone mainstream, and jaded geeks are totally over it. Facebook? It’s turned into “sludge for the brain now, filled with fluffy rabbits and gibberish.” Twitter? Just a mess of “mass-market spoonfed ‘trending topics.’” Instagram? What was once the epitome of geek chic has been overrun with filthy Android smartphone users, not to mention Iran’s Supreme Leader.
So trendsetting geeks are pinning their hopes on a new, geekier-than-thou social network called App.net. For just $50, you, too can become part of this exclusive club of early adopters, free to sniff at the riffraff on Facebook and Twitter. Social networking has reached the crucial “alt” phase.
of putting my money where my mouth is: on August 6 I said
, in response to this post by Seth Godin
, that I “consider Twitter a utility (in both senses), and would pay up to $10 [per month]. Especially to get ads out of my stream.”
App.net is less than half that. Yes, network effects etc. Yes, app.net might be to Twitter what Google+ is to everyone else. But I’m not hopeful that Twitter will get anywhere near Godin’s suggestion:
My suggestion: Twitter has the opportunity to become extraordinarily aligned with their best users. Offer the top users the opportunity to pay $10 a month. For that fee, they can get an ever-growing list of features, including analytics, verification, 160 characters, who knows…
That would be a service with paying for. Right now, I consider App.net an alternative worth backing.
Equally guilty of naive optimism and insufficient cynicism. Let’s see how this goes.
Tech Snobs Are Throwing Their Money At a New Indie Social Network
it would be helpful to escape the echo chamber of Silicon Valley and relocate to New York. Today New York has plenty of startup infrastructure in terms of funding and engineers, but it also has millions of creators and experts and consumers in fields beyond tech.
Dropbox and Github, which you mention as shining examples of ad-alternatives, are great companies that solve real, widespread problems and have real, sustainable business models. But I’m afraid “too many ads on Twitter” or “a slightly too restrictive developer API” are not actual, widely-held problems, and that Kickstarter-type donations aren’t a sustainable business model for a massively scaled social network.
"To resolve our anxiety in the most productive way we can, we stare at our glowing screens looking for Truth, for Meaning, for some sort of concrete resolution. We want to stamp out the gripping fear lurking in the back of our minds, the Fear that we aren’t exactly sure what we are doing, and that things all seem shinier and easier when other people do them. We create linear narratives that make us feel comfortable knowing: 1) There is a reason things happened the way they did. 2) The reason things happened is both knowable and easily understandable. 3) We can digest all of those learnings from reading a 1000-word blogpost. The Success that we read about is easily attainable, you just need follow these 5 simple rules, or find a co-founder, or raise an angel round, and then everything will get way easier, right? Anxious people eat this stuff up… anything to cure the squishy uncertainty in the pit of their stomachs."