About the effects of being able to easily identify the top posters on Ello: I just want to say, as a placeholder for something I should really say, that all social systems have inequality, and that one of the inequalities is 'who recognizes who.'
That pattern is a side-effect of human life at any supra-tribal scale, and it always obeys some power-law-ish distribution. (A few widely recognized individuals, a majority of sparsely recognized ones.) At a glance at some of the user lists, Ello is already there, with preferential connectivity having put Ello's creators at the top ranks of that distribution.
That this inequality is universal does not mean that any inequality is the same as any other one. Power law distributions have slopes, and the steeper the slope, as graphed, the greater the inequality is.
When I advocate for making social search hard, I am not saying "...so that Ello will be a land of pure equality, where rainbow-flavored unicorns cavort in the comments." I am saying "...so that Ello does not become so unequal that people like @warrenellis leave."
One common reaction to my advocacy of an intentionally hard pattern has been to say "I don't think you can stop the rich-get-richer phenomenon." This is exactly right, and I'd never advocate stopping it. What you can get, though, is an equilibrium where the slope is flatter or steeper. And from my pov, a lot of what has made Ello interesting is that the slope is (has been) fairly flat.
Ellis was clearly enjoying a world where he was an interesting guy, and not The Famous Warren Ellis, because how many public places are there for him on the internet where he can be the latter? Approximately all of them. And how many public places are like the former? Zero for a long time, then one for a few weeks, and now back to zero again.
And when he left, I thought "Oh god, I hope he's wrong and not just prescient."