(an aside: Have you ever seen anything blow up out of nothing the way Ello has? There are probably several good theses in the story of the initial proliferation of the site and the fact that everyone seems to be talking about it)
There’s a very good argument for avoiding Ello to be made, and Aral Balkan made it. The gist is that Ello’s funding is fundamentally incompatible with its Manifesto. This incompatibility is a Really Big Deal. The whole point of Ello is that it’s meant to be the “anti-Facebook,” and venture cap is an exceedingly unlikely way to pursue that goal.
Look, I’d love for Ello to be what the founders say it will be. I like the look, I like the simplicity, and I like that you’ve got some features that FB would never, ever allow (giant animated GIF’s!). Not to mention, I think I like the fact that it is really, really hard to find specific people. One of my biggest complaints about Facebook is that it is so ubiquitous that anyone can find anyone, so you kind of have to modulate your presence for the broadest audience. That’s no fun. Google tried to solve this by making it easier to chose what you shared with whom, but they made a spectacular hash of it.
Wow…I think what I just wrote amounts to “I miss LiveJournal.” Not exACTly where I thought I was going with it.
Anyway, I’ll probably post early-days impressions pretty frequently for a bit. Feel free to ignore ’em if social networks aren’t your thing.