App.net – A New Social Networking Platform That (GASP) Costs Money

Screenshot of App.net Join Page

On Monday, I committed to pay $50 to get in on the ground floor of a new Twitter-like social network called App.net.

App.net was started by Dalton Caldwell, one of the founders of the social media site, imeem. He became disenchanted with what he believes to be Twitter and Facebook’s tendency to cater to their advertisers at the expense of their users and app developers.

Caldwell’s vision is to build an alternative real-time social network that isn’t supported by advertising, and let developers create apps for the platform without having to worry about whether the apps will compete directly with the way the platform makes money.

To get the platform going, Caldwell created a funding campaign (similar to Kickstarter) to get 10,000 backers to contribute $500,000 by August 13th. There were three tiers of contributions: $50 for members, $100 for developers, and a $1000 Pro tier offering phone support and a personal meeting with Caldwell.

The campaign was a massive success as they raised over $800,000 from more than 12,000 backers.

So why am I writing about this?

I discovered App.net on the last day of the fundraising campaign. Even though I only joined Twitter three weeks ago (I know, right?), I wanted to get in on the ground floor of something new.

You see, there are already plenty of experts on how bloggers should use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and so on. So rather than rehashing, all that here, I figured I can carve out myself a niche and help bloggers decide if App.net is right for them.

My plan is to write an extra post per week about my experience with App.net. I’ll also place a link to all the App.net posts in the menu at the top to help you find those posts more easily.

Don’t worry, more of your favorite techy WordPress/Genesis related posts are on the way.

If you have any questions you want me to address, leave a comment or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to write about it in a post. While I’m at it, if I answer your question, I’ll also link to your blog in the post to help out your backlinks.

My App.net status so far

As a benefit of being an early backer, I was able to reserve the same handle I use for Twitter. Since I have two Twitter accounts, one for this blog and one for general personal use, I had to choose one handle to use for App.net. I decided to use my personal handle, @BryanTheKerr so I could also use it to benefit my day job activities, as well as this blog.

Now that accounts are registered on a first come, first served basis, I suppose I could get a second account for @TheHobbyBlogger, but I don’t want to pony up another $50 for it. I’m not that crazy.

Already there’s an alpha version (early prototype) of App.net running—you can see the global feed here. I haven’t been able to use it yet though. Because I (and many others) joined so late in the campaign, the developers are backlogged with username conflicts. They had to halt invites temporarily until those conflicts are resolved, so I’m chomping at the bit waiting to get access.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Many are skeptical of App.net’s chances. I’ll make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Have any you of thought about joining? Do you think it can survive?

Article by Bryan Kerr

I love breaking down the techie side of blogging into easy-to-understand tutorials. That's mostly what you'll find here on The Hobby Blogger.

Comments

  1. Mithun Ryder says:

    Hey Bryan -how is it going with app.net, any benefits?

    • Bryan Kerr says:

      Hi Mithun. Not long after I got into app.net, I kinda fell out of the blogosphere for a few months as work got very busy. I’ve abandoned app.net since then, but now that I’m blogging again, I’ll start to re-engage.

      According to my analytics, I got only one visit to this blog from my app.net posts. So there wasn’t really any pay off back then. I’m curious to know if it’s any different now.

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