10,000 hours on Ello - an ode by CatchphraseDan
I like writing. I would say that I love writing, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet with it. It’s something that I don’t do enough of, and it’s definitely something that I wish I had more time to do. I was gonna set myself a big ol’ target to write more next year, but why wait ‘til then? It’s 44 days until 2016 which is just enough time to watch the Iron Giant 533 times. Now, I’m a big fan of the film, but that there is simply too much Iron Giant. I thought that if I sat myself down in front of my fancy Apple Macaroni computer machine then the words would fly in through my chimney and throw shapes all over my livin’ room, until a glorious piece of writing lay before me. I tried that for eight long minutes, and nothing happened, boy! Not a thing, not a sausage and definitely not a bean. I scratched my head for a quick minute, and then I did what everybody seems to do when they need a distraction - I clicked three clicks, and had a peep of what was happenin’ on that there social media. Not Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or that one with all the naked people. I’m talkin’ about @ello .
Now, I’ve been a member of Ello for exactly 10,000 hours at the writing of this little article, which is a nice round number, and definitely enough time to write a balanced user review. I joined on the 26th of September 2014, which was a foggy Friday morning. Well, it might not have been foggy - I made that bit up. It was definitely a Friday though. Over the last 417 days I’ve been a regular user on here, so I thought that my first bit of writing should be an ode to Ello. I like it here, and I consider any time in front of Ello time well spent.
Before I start, let me just say that this ain’t gonna be a balanced and well researched piece. Quite the opposite actually. These are my own meandering thoughts and personal experiences (with emphasis on meandering). You may disagree completely with some of the things I say and that’s great - I’d love to hear your thoughts, and your opinions on the piece. Unless you’re commenting to call me a rude name, like a “cobble eyed rat monger” - in which case you can keep that to yourself, son!
Any which way, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. Now, for me, the thing that makes Ello special is the simple fact that it feels like home. I post a lot of things, to a lot of places on the internet, and for the most part, I might as well be shouting at my cherry red boots for the use it’s doin’. The CatchphraseDan page has got a small handful of merry followers on Facebook, but only a few of these fine folks actually see anything of mine swim by on their news feed. Crazy ain’t it? Unless I boost up a post, and throw a few shiny coins to the big greedy ol’ fellas at Facebook, nobody sees anything I do.
Ain’t much better on Instagram neither. I post something up, and within seconds I’m tagged in pictures of folk tryin’ to sell me trillions of followers. The whole thing feels weird and creepy, and makes me shiver a whole lotta shivers. Jump to Ello, and boy, oh boy, you witness a completely different world. It’s a little more than that actually, it’s more like a different dimension where everybody has got feet for hands and hands for feet, and there ain’t no such thing as bears.
For starters, let’s say you just got yourself an Ello account. You’re the new kid in school and you haven’t made any friends just yet. Everything seems scary and you don’t know your way around. Who should you trust? You don’t want nobody snatchin’ up your milk money do you? Don’t worry, son! There are a whole bunch of fine folks on here that run community pages and give you a startin’ point on who to get acquainted with, dependin’ on your interests.
Take @yourdailybread as a tremendous example. Every week the hard workin’ @joycomplex roots out a whole bunch of fine makers and shakers, and lines ‘em up all straight and neat so that we can see all the awesome stuff they do. One of ‘em even gets a little bread trophy each week. What’s not to like about that? I won one earlier this year - it sits on my shelf and sings crude renditions of Willy Mason songs to me while I work. Marvellous.
So, with Ello not rakin’ in leaves of money from advertising and selling souls, how is the future looking? Well, the alternative revenue model that is being spread amongst folks in hushed voices hints that we’re gonna be able to sell our exciting wares in stores on Ello, with a commission taken on each transaction to maintain the site. This idea sounds pretty gosh darn exciting doesn’t it?
I’m an artist and a maker, and my landlord gets his rent from me selling stuff I’ve made to the beautiful, marvellous folks that wanna buy them. I’ve seen @budnitz mention a few times in interviews and articles that a store model could be a viable way forward, so I’m gonna be right there at the front of the line when they hand ‘em out. Hopefully I’ll get somethin’ cool, like a little crepe stand, or a wig shop. Scratch that, actually, I hope I get a kaleidoscope repair shop - you know, something useful. When’s the last time you got your kaleidoscope serviced? Exactly.
So in conclusion, how would I rate my 10,000 hours spent on Ello? Were they well spent? What do I have to show for it?
I’m glad I joined Ello. I feel at home here in a way that I never have on any other social media platform. Everyone is nice here. They are all here for a reason, not all of ‘em the same. Mine is simple - I love being inspired, and this is an entire planet of inspiration. Miles and miles of the stuff, all made by people with similar mindsets and a common goal - creating things. So Ello, I might not have a trillion Instagram followers, and I might not be able to pay a small fortune so that my handful of followers actually see my posts - but you don’t care do you? You’re not asking that of us, and as long as you keep promising that you never will, we’re all gonna be around here for a long, long time.
Illustration by @catchphrasedan