Recently, a new contender has been cast into the ring as the social media scene gets a shake up!
Ello – a tiny platform with a strong manifesto at heart – has suddenly gotten everyone talking!
Though only in beta, and still needing much work, Ello suddenly got a renewed interest from the tech community after a debacle from some vocal Facebook users made for questions of where users might go if not to the currently established platforms.
When Facebook recently deleted the profiles of a bunch of drag queens who were using accounts that were under their “stage names”, suddenly lots of drama ensued. This has been a long-standing rule that has never been wavered at Facebook, but the drag queen situation resulted in more media chatter and drama than usual.
Rather than head to Google+ which recently did away with its relatively young real name rule, many of the LGBT community headed for a relatively obscure social media site that had promised them not only a more permissive environment (you can be anonymous) but also to eventually support adult media for accounts using the #nsfw tag.
Ello has successfully achieved a small venture capital backing around the same time… in part because the owner has a strong plan for monetization of the site without the use of “dreaded” third-party ads.
And suddenly, the technorati got interested and massive interest in the little beta site spiked!
That gives us a pretty good background into why people are suddenly talking about Ello… everywhere!
Once you’ve joined Ello (try to get an invite from a friend because the invite server is currently swamped), getting started is semi intuitive but there are some quirks that likely result from the site begin VERY beta.
You can dive right in, but this handy list of 10 tips will save you a bunch of headache.
Now that you’ve got a rough idea how the site goes, you may be ready to cut your teeth on “The Complete Ello Guide” which you can find for free here.
Many things you might expect from a site like this are simply missing: accessible buttons, mobile support, ban/block, content filtering, content discovery, like buttons, share features, link thumbnails, and the list goes on.
Given that search is also broke, finding members can be more tricky than it sounds unless you spot them on the discovery list!
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to search for Ello users using Google search, although not all user profiles are indexed yet.
Tools are already beginning to turn up including Schello for Ello which provides a top-user-profile ranking and an index of its own.
One of my favorite resources, which I keep bookmarked, is this really handy clickable list of all the emoji (smilies) that Ello supports. They’re a fun way to liven up the hyper-sterile environment at times! And there are TONS of them!
In fact, there’s a lot of mark up and syntax you can use to brighten up Ello. Here’s a handy guide from Green Mellen Media.
You can find me on Ello at: https://ello.co/askkim
One thing to be wary of however is fake accounts. For example @mikeelgin is NOT @mikeelgan. That’s only one example but many more fake accounts, particularly of popular people, already exist. Be sensible, as always. :)
I’m hearing a lot of people asking “Why Ello?” and I think this is an important question that doesn’t have a single answer.
From what I’ve seen, the fascination with Ello is not predominantly about Ello itself, but instead shows some aggravation with the current sites, some love of new toys, some desire for a site that doesn’t sell our data, and generally a random curiosity and following-of-friends.
There are so many factors in play that we’re seeing an environment that is now very unstable and actively SEEKING “the next best thing”. (Dear Facebook: The honeymoon is over.)
For the moment, the interest is in Ello, which shows LOT of promise as a “diamond in the rough”. However, as Robert Scoble says, “Does it need to be more than that? Not tonight. In three months we’ll be talking about who DID stick here (or who didn’t) and we’ll be judging it a LOT harsher than today.”
I think it’s going to be VERY interesting to watch Ello over the next six months and see if it can pull off the miracle of interest stability that it’s going to need, beyond this PR burst, in order to have a chance to grow into a true market competitor.
Are you on Ello? What do you think?
Feel free to include your Ello profile URL in your comments below!
~ Kim ~