More thoughts on ello.
(1) The fact that you are seeing blow back out there about ello so quickly tells me they are on to something. Haterz gon' hate and all that. Already the FUD blog posts are popping up and recirculating. Feels almost orchestrated actually. The biggest criticism seems to be that the company took some VC money from some left winger Vermont VC types. So this must mean that they plan to sell you down the river eventually, right?
You see, the thing is, we are so preconditioned to see advertising as the only viable business model on the internet as an exit, that we forget that there are companies out there that have made millions and millions of dollars actually liberating us from advertising. Netflix built one of the most valuable companies in the world today by basically liberating us from the shackles of the fat cats running our TV.
Now I can watch 12 episodes of House of Cards in a row commercial free, instead of the watered down reality television that the networks pitch to the lowest common American denominator today -- bombarding them with that same stupid car driving down that same stupid road, over and over and over again.
Netflix, higher quality content, no ads, and revenue the envy of every venture capital investor on the planet.
There are about a million different ways out there that ello could be very profitable, satisfactorily so, without having to resort to selling you out. Because the initial ethos of the business seems to be so anti-advertising focused, it feels like they've drawn a sort of line in the sand there. I'm going to trust them on that.
(2) I think what will help propel ello going forward and also differentiate ello from other social networks is the quality of the content here. The quality on ello is some of the highest that you will find on any social network. Part of this is because creatives jumped on board so early. I'm convinced though that part of this is also by design. The more I think about the prominence of the "noise" bucket, the more I realize how significant it is to the network.
So many social networks these days have simply become dumping grounds for people's content. So much thoughtless, stupid, loud, inane, boring content. People don't think twice when they post up some crappy status update on Facebook or 35 photos in a row of the fireworks show that they took drunk with their iphone last night -- not too drunk though as they somehow managed some garish watermark on every single shot with some new paranoid watermarking app.
I don't think you'll see that sort of stuff on ello though. Why? Because it's so easy for people to banish you to the purgatory of "noise". I've already moved 20 people I'm following into the noise bucket. Every single thing you post gives people an opportunity to move you into "noise," -- so the underlying message is this, be very thoughtful that you are posting content that will be valued by those following you.
Noise doesn't mean you are dead to me, but it means that I might check in there once a week or month or something and I'll be seeing a lot less of your stuff.
(3) Mobile is manageable for now. I spent my first 48 hours on ello on the web only. Damn those big photos look so brilliant on the web. Seeing photos that big on ello reminds you how much it sucks that most of the other social networks out there punish your photos by smalling them down (probably so they don't compete as much with their ads).
On Monday I went to work though and tried ello on mobile for the first time. It's doable. You have to realize that they give you three tabs in the mobile browser -- there's a little 3 dot thing down at the bottom of the page that you can toggle between them. The middle one is your feed of your friends' content, the one on the right is for you to post stuff from your phone. I posted my first mobile photo yesterday and everything worked fine.
While the mobile web version is by no means polished and is very rough, ello has said that they are building both iphone and android apps, so stay tuned.
(4) Everybody wants an invite. I gave my first five I was given out after about 10 minutes. I think I gave my first one to @danielkrieger because he's the smoothest man in NYC. My wife got one too.
The invite thing is necessary so that ello can scale properly given the massive amount of attention they've received over the past week. I doubt they were anticipating that. Some people have said that they put their email address into ello but are still waiting for an invite. So go out and get one. Post to your twitter account and your facebook account and your Google+ account and your flickr account that you need one. I bet one finds you. It's not like getting a miracle ticket at a Grateful Dead show. They are out there, you just might have to work to find one.
If you're a friend of mine look at the people I'm following on ello. See if you know any of those people. If you do, contact them and see if they have an invite. Maybe the fact that people have to work a little harder to get into ello isn't the worst thing in the world.
(5) Ello is raw still. Raw can be good though. It can also jolt nerves. There are so many things that probably will go wrong and so many things that will get screwed up. Spam, porn vs. art, bugs, moderation. Mike Mozart was complaining on my flickr stream that ello deleted his account for posting too many photos of toys and following too many people. He probably tripped some spammy thing. These things will happen. Have patience. I bet all this stuff gets worked out in the end.
The important thing is that you have what seems like a passionate and dedicated group of talented founders hacking on this thing every day -- and in a refreshing and transparent way where you sort of know where things are headed. http://goo.gl/ulkscj
(6) Read and re-read the ello manifesto https://ello.co/wtf/post/manifesto and read this post by @budnitz http://goo.gl/ulkscj
Fired up yet? I know I am.