Bernie Goldbach in Cashel | Screenshot from my Alpha.App.net Dashboard
I AM DABBLING with the community inside App.net because it's a nice conversation pit. It's not a networking nirvana but it sounds a lot like Jaiku in 2006 and Twitter in 2007 with a boatload of iOS app developers thrown in for good measure.
Joining App.net doesn't feel like I've become part of the white flight from Twitter and Facebook (although I'm browned off about both social networks lately). It has active cross-talk about inclusion. I rowed in by following tweets from Pat Phelan, , Catherine O'Neil, Conor O'Neil and Mark O'Mahony from Cork, Damian Bannon, Stewart Curry, Jason Goff, and Paul Watson from Dublin, Alex Leonard from Longford, Katie Moffat, Ben Smith, Christian Payne and Stephen Fry from the UK and Jan Ole Sur from Berlin. And there's Leo Laporte, Gina Trapani and Robert Scoble all claiming their names in the service too. I dropped my 50 bucks into the tip jar via Stripe because I like coffee chats with those folks. My reason for joining App.net is as simple as that. Besides, I fancy sitting down with all these peeps and watching the Simpson's episode with Marge and the Monorail. It may be very appropriate.
Some people in my daily reads are watching all this with active disinterest. James Corbett, Walter Higgins, Damien Mulley, Michele Neylon and Ade Oshineye could be right to hold and see what falls out. In the meantime, app.net has released a viable API spec, helpful screenshots, and a working alpha version--all within thirty days of the first blog post by Dalton Caldwell.
Sure, app.net could fail, even though it exceeded its $500,000 crowd-sourced goal by more than 100 grand. Its $5m of VC money won't buy dedicated failover with a server farm. Its founders play the field of established technologies by trying to engineer a better solution as late arrivals. So if it's a damp squib, I lose the equivalent value of one family meal at Morelli's in Cashel (recommended--tell them the Mayor sent you unless you're a principal at Woop.ie then the squid is on me).
There are several selling points that attract me to App.net. I get a zipped file of all my content in a structured format from the site. On Twitter, it's hard looking back a month. Unlike Twitter, the third party application developers aren't threatened with having the core functionality of their apps pulled from under them. There is a crowdsourced directory of 3rd-party apps, some I've used or seen on the public timeline already.
App.net is drafting Terms of Service and hosting it as part of github documentation. People can see it, offer feedback and pull requests. I like that transparency.
And I'll be using the service more than Twitter. As you do when you pay for things.
Mike Elgan -- "Facebook Revenge Site Earns $650,000" on Googleplus, August 12, 2012.
Trevor Gilbert -- "App.net Is Like a Cool Glass of Water in a Desert of Ad-Supported Social Networks" on Pando Daily, August 12, 2012.
Jon Russell -- "Funded!" on The Next Web, August 12, 2012.
Bragging right: First on the #ChooChoo hashtag.
Fireman Rich -- "I think I'll pass."