(do you have any idea how hard it is to write something about Ello and not do some sort of silly play on words?)
Ok, last update for the night: Paul Budnitz and Todd Berger, Ello co-founders, both say that concerns over their venture cap investors and the potential “exit” postulated by Aral Balkan are ill-founded. The investor himself, Cairn Cross of FreshTracks Capital, is telling the same tale. When asked about the profit model for the site, he responded:
“I believe you can build something of value here if you can create a big enough network and have a framing model that has some payment features in it for people who want fancier bells and whistles for what they’re doing. If you think about the gaming industry, the freemium model is not necessarily a problem, it just hasn’t been applied as much to social applications. We think it will work.”
It’s worth noting that I’m writing this on WordPress, which, if memory serves, uses a “freemium” model.
Obviously, I hope that Budnitz, Berger, and Cross are on the level here. I don’t know that the world needs benign social network, but man, it’d sure be nice to have that as an option.