Stealing this from @bruces, who stole it from @cshirky:
1/N @Meatspac. Ello. ~Club. These are all post-scale networks. The published narrative around them asks "Is X the next Facebook?"...
2/N ...to which the answer is not just No, per @BetteridgesLaw, but Hell no. These networks are fun because they don't scale well.
3/N @meatspac is Be Here Now. If you want to leave a message for another user, you have to ask real live people to remember to pass it on.
4/N @meatspac also has no login, profile, or Away message. (It has Mute. Mute, not login, turns out to be the core feature of spam control.)
5/N Ello is a social network that doesn't have Like, Reply, Re-Elloing, or working search, and I dread the day when it gets those things.
6/N Tilde Club started as a joke, and only even makes sense to the .001% of the immernets that know what a shell account is. (/me feels old)
7/N But .001% of the net is 10,000 people or so. In IPO terms, bupkis. In social terms, bigger than the biggest party you've ever been to.
8/N Social value is always a trade off between density & scale. The social graph, as weaponized by LiveJournal, created internal horizons...
9/N ...that let users the experience small group interactions while allowing companies to grow to web scale. This was a good hack.
10/N But the social graph is not the only hack. Another is to not privilege scale over density in the first place.
11/N Not prizing scale over density is what @meatspac, Ello & ~Club have in common. It's also why their interfaces look so dumbrilliant.
12/N This is also why coverage of these services tends towards stupid. Tech journalists want to make predictions about the future...
13/N ...that don't seem ridiculous today. (They love Apple for packaging upgrades like revolutions.) When the story changes, they miss it.
14/N The current story is NOT that Facebook is "being replaced" or "faces challengers." It has ONE BILLION USERS. <--not even hyperbole
15/N The story is that there are new hacks other than the social graph, which support social value not easily convertible to ad dollars.
16/N Networks like ~Club are an adaptation to a Facebook-dominated social landscape, not a challenge to it.
17/N=17 These services aren't a new way of creating FB-like value. They're a new way of being valuable in a world that already has Facebook.