After the initial discovery period of figuring out what Ello is, I’m now trying to figure out what I want it to be and whether or not that’s where the developers are heading with this project.
What I do want:
1. A modicum of privacy and no “real names” requirements.
2. An interface that’s lightweight, intuitive, and pleasant to use.
3. Control over my feed (whose posts I see and whose I don’t, and complete control over the ordering of them).
4. Control over who can see my posts.
5. A decent mobile experience.
6. An interesting community with which to share.
Thinking about it as a whole, what I want is a social netowrk that isn’t as ugly, capricious, and ubiquitous as Facebook. I don’t want everything I do tracked and turned into advertising. I want it to work essentially the same way every time I use it. I want to be able to pick the community with whom I share and interact without having to worry about family or employers peeking in.
I think Ello has #1 ticked off the list and they’re a good way towards handling #2 (so long as you don’t take “intuitive” too seriously). #3 is in a good place right now with the caveat that there’s very little configuration currently available. #4 and #5 are nowhere to be seen at this time although the list of coming features is encouraging.
#6 will be the make or break feature for me. The interactions are what separate social networks from the other stars in my media constellation. My RSS feed, my blog, and my Twitter account all accomplish numbers 1-5 with varying degrees of aplomb. So, without the community, why bother?
The kicker, of course, is that the community isn’t likely to develop and stick around without additional features. We’ll see. I’m committed to sticking around for a while if for no other reason than to try to encourage anything that isn’t Facebook. I hope it works. I’m not holding my breath.