Odds are this post will seem anachronistic six months from now, but I’m still excited about the flash of interest in social-media upstart Ello, inspired in large part by Facebook’s continued incomprehension of some sociological fundamentals.
As I’ve noted in a few forums, Ello has picked up new accounts started by tech-savvy users, people who use stage names and other pseudonyms, and even news sites in the wake of a dust-up over Facebook’s draconian enforcement of its real-names policy to exile drag queens and other users who employ monikers other than their birth names (disproportionately targeting the LGBT community).
Facebook VP of Product Chris Cox last week ran a post apologizing for the crackdown and attributing it to one user reporting hundreds of drag performers. While the rules will remain the same, Cox wrote, the company will apply them with more sensitivity.
Cox’s assurances may have worked. (And I actually believe he’s being honest in his dismay about the unintended consequences of Facebook’s rules and the company’s wish to do better.) Anecdotally, I’m now seeing less interaction between users I’m following and Ello’s admittedly Spartan feature set.
But I’m still rooting for Ello to persevere, both because I’m enjoying the adventure of a new platform and the opportunity to think hard about Facebook’s critical mass in social media. Whatever Cox and Facebook consider the spirit of company policy, the letter remains very restrictive — and its enforcement hinges on enabling any user with any agenda to derail the account of another with a single confidential complaint.
I sent Sunday’s confessional around to a few friends with social-media smarts — it’s a way of ensuring I keep momentum and get this thing up to snuff.
The first response I received: “It takes balls to confess to using Blogger!” Not only is that motivation for me to make the migration to WordPress, it also has the makings of a dandy T-shirt slogan!
I’m taking my blog for a spin on my brand-new Mac laptop, thanks to my amazing spouse, Nancy Tobin. Nancy is as nice and thoughtful as she is talented, which is kind of incredible on both counts. I’m absurdly lucky — and this machine is fabulous!
Albatross! Get your albatross!
Has this ever happened to you? Having set up this blog a couple of years ago, I feel like I need to feed it occasionally … But in the meantime, all the social networking I’m doing with the Che Underground blog, Facebook, Twitter, et al. — not to mention my day job at TheLadders, where we’re currently figuring out our blogging play — has me everywhere else on the Web but here.
And while I don’t suffer from introversion or a lack of ego, there’s just so much truly personal detail I want to commit to the unpredictable currents of the Web.
I’m comfortable treating this blog as a beacon for old friends looking for me online and as a spot for the occasional G-rated family bulletin, akin to those newsletters people used to mail around to their friends (“Nussbaum Family News: All’s well at our house … Richard broke an arm, and little Melanie won a star for her finger painting. Oh, and Darlene and I have agreed to see other people. Happy holidays!”)
Anybody else wondering exactly what to do with their personal blogs as other social-networking options proliferate? I’d like to hear suggestions!
PS: Everybody here is in fact doing wonderfully. Nancy is selling a gratifying amount of art in this down economy (and blogging admirably!); the kids are rockin’ at school, and the veterinary bills have been surprisingly modest. Here’s to 2009!