So far, Ello seems to consist mainly of folk posting up their work. Which is understandable, I reckon, given that it's attracted a huge creative community in its beta release. And which is lovely, because it's great to see this clean, simple layout populated with all kinds of visuals. I'm just wondering out loud if there will be much in the way of chat going forward - the site reminds me of an evolved Journalspace, a social site from the early 00's. As Facebook was born, Journalspace died, and I never got into LiveJournal properly, as I hated its layout.
Facebook reduced everything from those original journal sites down to the barest essentials, and it lost a lot in doing that, so that we've evolved away from journalling and chatting to posting brief updates on the minutiae of our lives.
I've been waiting a long time to see a site like this appear, and I'd love it to stick around. But I hope that if it does, it's through folk journalling as much as posting their work. And for that to work, I reckon we're gonna need tags. Finding folk through tags on JournalSpace allowed us to build fantastic little overlapping communities, and I can see that happening here eventually.
As it grows, the Friends and Noise thing will become more important, but finding like minded people could be tricky unless we have some way to distinguish our posts...
In the meantime, I'm loving it so far. It just looks fucking gorgeous, and feels all the better for being stripped of all that noise we see in Facebook. I've currently got Ello up on one screen and FB on another, and the difference is plain. On one screen, I've got a white background, clean fonts, beautiful sliding cover picture and those great little circular icons. On the other, I've got a mass of different sections all crammed into one feed, a list full of people I hardly interact with, suggested groups, suggested friends and trending items that mean nothing to me, a list of a multitude of groups I don't engage with, apps I don't want anything to do with and constant reminders that - there's - something - else - I'm supposed to be doing on the site.
It's a dog to look at, and aesthetic is key. But while it's tres hipster to say so, it's the sheer critical mass of people on The Other Site that's making it less appealing by the day.
Look! I managed my first written post without using the word "minimal"! )
EDIT: So apparently you can tage posts just by use a hashtag, which makes sense. And apparently the folks what do the stuff that makes it work will be adding content search soon, which is awesome.