Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Dr. Drang:

I guess the real question is whether those who’ve signed up for app.net are actually prepared to leave Twitter for it. So far, it looks like most of them are still tweeting, and I’m curious as to how many of them can leave.

I get why people are looking for a Twitter alternative, but using Twitter plus another service doesn’t seem to be a very good solution. And the robotweeting and having to pay to reserve your username leave a bad taste.

Alex Hillman:

App.net is a fascinatingly similar Rorschach test on the community surrounding it. It’s a mirror, it reflects back to them what they want and care about. And people are spending $50, $100, & $1000 at a time based on what they believe the creator intends to do. Dalton has stated his intentions, to a point, but most of the 3rd party discussion has turned to speculation.

Dave Winer:

What seems very unlikely to me is that the new thing will fall neatly in place on one company’s servers, or even with one company’s servers at the center. It’s never been that way.

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Most of my friends IRL don't and probably won't ever sign up for App.net.
I can separate my normal life (Twitter) from my tech side (App.net). If the service was priced by month, it could be more attractive to the average user. Not saying it won't appeal to normal people in the future, however.

I agree that App.net is basically another membership site and another silo of data. I've never been and am still not a Twitter user, but I did sign up for App.net. I'm not even sure I recognize the value in the Twitter concept, but I think App.net is symbolic of a larger distaste with the modern hyper ad-driven internet.

I would hope this would evolve beyond a single company with servers into an actual decentralized protocol, but who knows where it will really end up or if it will fizzle out. For now I'm in on the experiment.


Left out of my post, but added in a comment, are links to Dan Sandler's work on an open, decentralized microblogging service along the lines of what Dave Winer wants:



I don't like the idea of robo-tweeting but if Tweetbot interspersed tweets on App.Net (which their Twitter service is now called Alpha) with your Twitter accounts that would be pretty nice. Even if they just made it a separate account you had to view separately that'd be nice.

I'm not sure how a robo-tweeting would work since Alpha allows 256 characters while Twitter only allows 140.

I've not paid for the service yet. But I've become a Twitter junkie the last year. So I hope it does take off. I actually don't mind the idea of my mainstream Twitter being separated from my technical stuff which might be done at Alpha. (I think most the people I follow are already there) One problem with Twitter is that I follow different groups of people who care about different things. I'd love to be able to Tweet about the college football game I like to my sports friends but that would drive off my more tech or political followers. Having them in separate accounts is one solution.

@Clark I meant something different by “robotweeting”; I was referring to how they required new users to tweet about App.net in order to reserve their username. It’s not that two services in one client would necessarily be bad, but that I’m not sure how it helps the Twitter problems if I still end up using Twitter. The segregation you’re referring to could also work with separate Twitter accounts.

Ah. Sorry. I misunderstood. I thought you meant the discussion of syncing Alpha and Twitter. Yeah, that original requirement (which they dropped) sounded pretty annoying.

Nothing is going to necessarily help the Twitter problems in Twitter. I think the idea is to have a service supported by many apps such that *if* Twitter drops 3rd party support they can switch. In the meantime I think everyone wants to use both Twitter and Alpha.

The segregation I mentioned indeed could work with separate Twitter accounts and I've actually thought about doing that to have a separate sport feed from other feeds. Right now though that seems a tad drastic. We'll see what happens when football season starts. (grin) My main point was just that if all the techies left Twitter that wouldn't be a huge problem. There's already a pretty big divide and I have my Twitter Lists separated pretty cleanly into categories.

@michael I believe it was actually a misunderstanding, and that the tweeting was optional. But I am not 100% sure, and it **was** very confusing.

@charles My understanding was that the tweeting was mandatory but that the format was customizable (though most people didn’t know that).

[...] have as well as in the ways they can display tweets. Multi-network clients, e.g. for Twitter and App.net, are [...]

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