Ello is a social platform that has been the subject of some buzz recently. Either by design or by accident, Ello is squarely positioned as the anti-Facebook, which immediately places it in a similar space in people’s minds. That’s a great deal for Ello, because feature-wise they have a long way to go before the can really throw down: no mobile app, no OAuth, no API. Ello claims to be built on a Freemium model that will sustain the company without them resorting to selling user info; but only time will tell.
Social Network Options Are Ever-Increasing
The bigger issue for folks like myself, folks who like things neat and tidy and simple, is that this is Yet Another Social Network, in a space where there are already tons of players. I doubt this situation will change; nobody really wants One Site to Rule Them All. But as a content creator, I find myself asking the same question with everything that I write: where do I post this?
For me, the answer seems to be divided along content / audience lines. I think that my tech audience is on G+ and my “human interest” audience is on Facebook. Twitter blurs the lines a bit; it is a popular platform for boosting people’s work agendas (including my own), but following anyone who only posts about work gets pretty dull. The jury’s out on Ello, but 24 hours into my Ello account and it is still pretty much a wasteland.
In Some Cases, Maybe It’s Function Over Forum
Blogging’s a little different for me. My blog is hosted on Tumblr, and by all accounts, I am way too old to be here. But in a medium where content and audiences are finding natural divisions across different services, as a content generator I am completely hooked on Tumblr’s blogging tools.
I can take a pass here, in one respect, because Tumblr supports CNAME aliasing. What does that mean? It means that I can map “blog.emichron.com” to my Tumblr account. So you aren’t completely jumping on board with me and the millennials in the Tumblr-verse just by reading this post :-) But let’s dig into this a bit, because to me, the fact that Tumblr offers this kind of rebranding is fascinating.
What if Social Networks were About People Instead of Services?
I know that there’s a few links at the top of my blog that advertise Tumblr loud and proud, so this isn’t exactly a white-label service. But imagine what an individual person’s web presence would be like if more social media platforms enabled this kind of sponsored content hosting?
You could follow me by subscribing to my blog, which happens to be on Tumblr. You could follow your Aunt Bea who is crazy addicted to Farmville and so her posts at blog.AuntBeaSuperFarmer.com happen to come from Facebook. The social networks get their cake (you know, data about you and everyone you interact with), but you get a bit of that cake as well.
I would like to see this idea take root: that you could pick a social medium on how it suits you, and reach out beyond the boundaries of that social network to engage with people as your own brand: yourself.
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