Suggesting Channels: I'm watching Ello repeat many of the dynamics of other platforms. That's ... somewhat frustrating
There was an initial large flurry of interest, followed almost instantly by many of the SEO types all telling us what Ello is, and how to use it. My answer: Media is what we make it.
Many "social" platforms seem to form around some central conceit as their core. This is almost always wrong.
For Facebook it was "friends", which made sense on a campus of 2,000 or so highly incestuous and selective college students. With well over a billion users, not so much.
On G+, where I've spent much of my online time for the past 3 years, it's been "Circles". The biggest failing of these is that there's simply no way to make these reciprocal. It's one thing to have a "Friends" circle. But if someone's posting a bunch of kids'n'meals'n'job'n'relationships'n'hair stuff, and ... you're more interested in ... broader topics, well, it's a bit frustrating. Now, if I could create a "personal" channel and direct that out at others, and be able to select, things might be a lot more workable. Figuring out what those channels are is difficult, but a few thoughts. Generally, these would be tags you could assign to posts, and channels people could follow. I'm trying to roll this up into a relatively small number of categories.
Personal: stuff about a person's own direct life. Family, relationships, personal mental health, etc.
Local: news, activities, etc., local to that person. Some sort of geocoding with a rough sense of range, say, 100km, might work. It doesn't have to be super-specific, but within reason. Another concept would be to scale content by magnitude -- earthquakes, storms, etc., are sort of like this. Though assigning magnitudes to posts would be interesting.
Those two categories would cover ... a lot. And for a great many people, I'm not generally interested.
Hobbies: Things you do or make, generally.
Food: If you must. Possibly rolled into hobbies, though as a consumption thing it's somewhat distinct. If you're eating at restaurants, it's food, if you're cooking, it might be a hobby. No this isn't rocket science (that's tech).
Spirituality: Religion, meditation, or related type stuff. A big part of some people's lives, my interest ... varies. Generally low.
Health & Fitness: Rolling all of it into a category. Gym, medicine, your surgeries.
Business & Marketing: Your networking and SEO stuff here.
Science and Tech: There's an argument for separation, but I'll roll them together.
Environment / Climate: A carve-out from Science.
News & Politics: Again, a broad category.
Issues & Activism: Things you care about / are interested in. Generally goal-oriented.
I'm thinking of these as classifications of a paper. Hrm, anything left out? Oh:
Arts, Style & Entertainment: What it says. Music, movies, books, graphic / visual / performance. Clothing and stuff. Pretty obvious choice for Ello.
Sports: Stuff you watch.
Travel: If not rolled into "hobbies".
Here's a few comparative lists.
The Guardian's sections: News,
Life & style,
The New York Times: World, U.S., Politics, New York, Business, Opinion, Technology, Science, Health, Sports, Arts, Style, Dining, Home, Travel Magazine.
- The Dewey Decimal system has the following nine categories: 000 - General works, Computer science and Information; 100 – Philosophy and psychology; 200 – Religion; 300 – Social sciences; 400 – Language; 500 – Pure Science; 600 – Technology; 700 – Arts & recreation; 800 – Literature; 900 – History & geography.
That's fourteen categories. Not sure if it's too many or not enough, but seems like a likely start.
Other tags or keywords could be used for further refinement.
July 19, 2015 update: added "Environment/Climate" and some styling changes.