@cathblast did you read did you read this thoughtful post by @thomashawk? you should.
Thoughts on ello.
1) Images look great. They are huge! And the bigger you open up your browser window on your monitor, the bigger they get! This is one of those places where your images will look better if you post them as full sized originals than as smaller scaled down versions.
2) Portrait oriented photos are the largest. Man, they are huge! Love that.
3) I just moved my first person into noise this morning. It's nice to be able to have that option to better curate the stuff you want to see. I'm going to be pretty ruthless about signatures and watermarks here. If people use them I'll either unfollow them or move them into noise. Nothing personal, I'm just looking for a certain aesthetic experience with this network that does not involve your branding/watermark.
4) I moved all of my ello notifications into my "social" folder and set my gmail to do that going forward. They were overwhelming my gmail inbox. I'll probably stay on top of ello for the most part, so won't need them as much. If I do I can always look there.
(5) @keithbarrett wrote up a nice piece on how to find people to follow on ello. http://goo.gl/hdnvp3
(6) The most refreshing thing to me about ello is the potential business model which might arise. Like most of you, I hate ads. With a passion. Facebook gives us zero choice about ads. We cannot opt out of them for any amount of money in the world. Even if we wanted to pay Facebook $10 million we still could not opt of ads. This is bad business strategy and greedy. Facebook should allow us to pay to opt out of ads. I pay Flickr to opt out of ads there, why can't I pay Facebook to opt out of ads as well? It took many years for companies like TiVo and Netflix to disrupt the television industry and give us the option to pay for subscription/technological tools to get around ads. At present I pay for HBO, Showtime and Netflix which covers about 95% of the shows that I want to watch on the boob tube. I try to use a DVR if I'm watching other stuff to avoid ads. Given ello's initial bias against ads, I suspect when monetization eventually comes, it might include ways to pay to get around ads. Somebody needs to liberate us from the ads in our social networks.
7) I'm a big believer in getting on new things early. I never bash new things or services. Already haters are bashing ello out there. Even if a service ends up not being for me, there are some key advantages to participating early. You secure the best possible name for your url before someone else can. By being early here (like Flickr, G+, facebook, etc.) I was able to own the ello.co/thomashawk url. Social networks in general index well in Google Search. So by owning your profile page on a network, you can control where the links on the profile page point. I have dozens of accounts on dozens of services that I don't even use. These are there for folks who do use those services to find me and to dominate more of the real estate for my name on Google Search. When G+ first came out it had so many haters. Eventually many of these haters ended up on the service even as they hated it. I remember when Twitter came out and all these haters kept saying it was a fad and stupid. Who knows, maybe Twitter is a fad and stupid. You never know where new technology goes. ello could always be taken out (like friendfeed was when Facebook bought them), but it could also turn into something much larger in the end.
8) It's fun interacting with a lot of my early adopter friends here on something new. This new excitement feeling will rub off. What will carry ello will probably be the potential about what it might become -- both because of where the community may drive it, as well as the insight of those hacking on it. It's nice to see a feature list here that points towards an excited development team who wants to hack and iterate. To me it feels like G+ stopped iterating after Vic Gundotra left. Maybe they are still innovating, just in secret, or they just are not communicating it well. Having an open list of what ello is working on is good I think. ello needs a blocking tool for example. As a user you don't have to keep hammering on that over and over again if you can see that it's in the plans and works.
9) I like that I will see your post here if I follow you and you will see mine if you follow me. Although there are times that I appreciate edgerank on facebook, I've missed too many posts that I care about over the years because Facebook doesn't think you and I are close enough friends or that what you say matters to me. What you say does matter to me. ello gives us a better tool to deal with noisy people and that is we can move them to noise -- for a short time, until whatever they are talking about that is not interesting passes, or permanently -- as in the case of signature/watermarkers. ;) Facebook also shows me too much stuff from too few people because it filers so much out. Facebook says they do this to provide me a better Facebook experience, but it feels to me that they do it so they can squeeze in more ads and sponsored posts (which are just really more blatant ads pushed right into your face).
10) The lack of a like button for posts and comments is interesting to me. I'm a serial favoriter. I've favorited quite literally hundreds of thousands of items on social networks over the past 10 years (300k photos on Flickr alone http://goo.gl/acLdQn) For me it's just a way to say, hey, I saw that, it was cool. But maybe forcing us to be more articulate about liking something through a comment will mean more to us and others. The other day I read a tweet by Om Malik that read: "Favorite is the "let's meet up soon" of online social gestures -- no emotional cost, not really real and somewhat pointless." http://goo.gl/M0ZnQe After liking the tweet (of course) I thought about it a bit and maybe liking/favoriting are a bit like empty calories. Don't worry, I'll still fave your photos on flickr, but maybe having to actually say something when you like something on ello isn't the worst thing in the world. We will see where ello goes from here, but as far as I'm concerned, a social network that shows your photos really well and really big and has no ads? Yeah, for starters I'm down with that. Count me in.