@snippe posted that his Ello experience has been rather lacking and not what he was hoping for. My response, he said, was worthy of a standalone post.
So here we go:
I think it's the label "social network" that's the problem. Ello isn't so much a social network as it is a media hub. You post to Ello to add to the content on display: pictures, essays, art, video, whatever. You read Ello to consume that content. Occasionally, something warrants a response or a conversation - I see this like visiting a museum with a friend. Once in awhile, one of us will comment on something, but mostly it's just go and look and enjoy what's there.
By labeling Ello a "social network" we come in with a set of expectations that are likely unfair. We expect tons of feedback, sharing, posting, etc with lots of interaction. At the moment, that just isn't what Ello is all about. Perhaps we should stop expecting it to be what we perceived it would be and just let it be what it is, while helping shape what it will become.
I still do the book of Faces every day because that's where my friends will post links to news stories, political rants, silly memes, viral videos, and such. It's mindless fun and I can get in and out quickly.
I don't get any of that on Ello... and you know what? I don't really want it on Ello. I don't expect Ello to replace my Facebook experience, I want it to be something else. At the moment, that's exactly what it is. Something else.
I come to Ello less frequently, but when I do, I come with the expectation of seeing things much deeper and more thought-provoking than I see on the Face. I find beautiful photographs, challenging essays, intricate artwork, and the like. It engages me on a totally different mental plane than the other networks and I like it that way.
Granted, it's not for everyone. I don't think it's trying to be. There are those who jump in, look around, and think it's boring, then leave. That's fine.
Perhaps if we stop referring to Ello as a "social network" and call it something else, people might not expect it to do what those other sites already do.