Hacker News is filled with people who are startup literate and technically competent. People write grammatical arguments and share deep knowledge. Hacker News is The Place where “startup people” congregate.
It’s also boring as hell. It’s an echo chamber, a bubble. Everyone has the same interests, and many people come from similar backgrounds. It’s hive-mind-y. I post there, and I contribute, but it’s not as interesting as a discussion on, say, Twitter. Twitter has a diverse user base and generally welcoming approach, and it shows.
Of course, pockets and bubbles have existed and will always exist on the internet. But it scares me when people start imagining a site like App.net as The Future of Social Networks, and herald it for its ability to keep “unwanted” people out.
All of this.
App.net: The Country Club of the Internet? // Digital Local
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