All this meta-Ello talk of late leads me to think deeply about what I really want out of the Internet itself (not just a site or the Web or some other construct).
The first thing that comes to mind is The Well (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_WELL), which as I understand it was a lot like a BBS with world wide access (sans long-distance phone bills)
Over the years I've built and participated in similar communities but they often excluded non-technical folk due to their operational complexity. It wasn't until the rise of "social networks" that I saw a large amount of participation by painters, writers, musicians, etc. with no technical background. This cut both ways and I saw pure electronics geeks and computer scientists getting drawn into the softer arts and expressing creativity in new ways. It was pretty cool.
The downside to this accessibility is that it allowed these communities to grow large enough to attract both participants and predators who pollute their environment and bring out the worst in almost all participants.
Ar one point I thought private communities were the answer, but they can't cultivate new relationships via "strange attractors" the way an open network can. They are also vulnerable to echo chamber effects and can self-destruct when their culture becomes too crystallized to contain variations in opinion and style.
So I'm not sure what the way forward is. Ello feels better than the common, contemporary systems like this but it also feels a bit like a refugee camp, or perhaps a limbo where you commune with those who are transitioning from one place to another, or who have been driven from their country and reside here until they find a new home. It feels like a tent city, defined more by what it isn't than what it is, and I'm not sure whether or not it can transition from this state to something more permanent.
Regardless I think that Ello has allowed some people to see that there are alternatives to the sharecropper servitude that has become the norm, and if it never become more than that it has been a worthwhile venture.