A super discussion thread was launched by a post by @ninazumel , motivated by a recent piece she read that was negative on Ello. I encourage everyone to head over there and read the conversation. That discussion has made me consider why Ello has become my main social media site since I joined back in October 2014.
I suspect I don't fit the profile of many of the Ello adopters. I am un-moved by the Ello manifesto and the adoption of a public benefit corporation status. I am not hostile to those things, but they have no impact on my decision to use Ello. (I wrote about the PBC charter in an earlier post).
I prefer that social networks not provide my personal data to advertisers, but I am not angry at companies, such as Facebook, that do this. Funding a business via advertising revenue is a reasonable business model -- so long as the network is transparent about it, I have no issue with it -- I can choose to use that service or not. I certainly am not going to demonize companies that do this -- everybody who uses social media has benefited from the existence of the ad-based business model. The growth of social networks which has led to the emergence of Ello would likely have occurred much more slowly without the ability of companies to offer "free" services by using an ad-based revenue model.
I also don't like some of Facebook's stupid moves regarding privacy and identities. However, I really don't believe that Facebook had a malevolent intent in any of this -- it all fits into how the company wants to make money to fund its growth. That stuff never really bothered me because there have been tons of social network alternatives for years now, so I never felt constrained by Facebook. Therefore, my decision to try Ello was not an anti-Facebook move. In fact, the whole "Facebook killer" discussion seems a useless distraction to me.
In addition, I did not come to Ello because I wanted to drop all my other social media accounts. I have about a dozen or so social network accounts, and I don't intend to drop any of them. Ello is my primary social network now, but I don't feel a need to deep-six the others. I also enjoy trying new sites, and I intend to continue to do so. In fact, I just read about a new app called Storehouse, and I will give it a try as soon as it comes to Android (if any of you Apple folks try Storehouse, please let me know what you think of it).
So, why then did I come to Ello, and why do I like it?
I originally tried Ello because I was curious and like to try new things. I then decided to invest time in Ello because I immediately liked the way my posts look on Ello -- uncluttered and clean -- in fact I commented on the aesthetics of Ello in my very first post. And I have stayed with Ello because I enjoy and appreciate the fantastic Ello community!
I believe that, with enough effort, you can find interesting people on just about any social network. But the big advantage of Ello is that the percentage of fascinating people seems much higher here than anywhere else I've tried! I had reached the point where I did most of my "thoughtful" posting on Medium. However, as nice as Medium is for aesthetics, it is lousy for social interaction. So I use Ello as a kind of social network-friendly version of Medium -- I wrote a post earlier about this also.
I hope that Ello will continue to attract creative and curious people. And I use "creative" in a broad sense -- there are creators and thinkers and geeks and learners and readers and searchers and quirky people by the ton worldwide who need a site like Ello (or like Ello can become). So my personal hope for Ello is that it will continue to make enhancements that attract the "creatives" and that those people will discover and join Ello.
P.S.: The feature I most want to see added to Ello is the ability to save a draft of a post, so that when I write insanely long posts such as this one, I won't need to do it in one session!
Image: Nerd (2010) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0