Social Me, Please

I have been a student of social media since the time of dial up, chat rooms, and "You've got mail".  More recently, since this kid, some of us in college at the time referred to him as "Zuck", created this cool little site just for us, the college student.  Zuck was my first FB friend.... and he was my first 'unfriend' when he changed up stuff on his site.  Interacting with one another, posting, responding, following.  It was 2005 for me, I was hooked. 

Then in 2008, loaded with a college degree in Communications, I discovered a another neato website ~ ya tweeted there. It was a bit odd, because you were limited. For someone like myself, who loves talking and communicating, it was a bit perplexing at first. My first tweet?

cooking turkey and cleaning up after the house flooded out.

Hello Ello!

They sit, presumably, somewhere in the northwestern corner of the US. In some minds, with a smugness about them, sipping coffee, or maybe a micro-brew, blogging, scouring the net, writing code. They had a small group of ‘inhouse’ folks using this little network, let’s call it Ello. Then the coding gods that they were, brought a beta to mainstream, carrying the mantle of the anti-FB social media site. Fine.

Nothing new here folks, just another social media site some would say. But no, it’s an invite only kinda thing. Ya gotta have a friend that had some kind of connection to be invited. That friend has the opportunity to invite five friends, and their five friends can invite five friends of their own, and so on, and so on (Sorry for sounding like a hair product commercial).

Brilliant! Genius! A great way to create a buzz, a want for something that not everyone can have. Admit it, you want it because not everyone can have it. Think though, for a moment, what else does that invite do? It eliminates a lot of the clutter you already have on other social sites.You can be selective as to who you want to listen to. A bit of ‘other web’ kind of thing going on.

I was fortunate enough to get one of those invites, by a guy who knows a guy, who knows a guy. I gladly signed up, and started poking around. Not that the layout, design, or ‘catch words’ were like anything other, but there was a familiar feel about it. It is a brave new social media, in beta of course. There’s plans for other options and features coming soon. I posted my first piece of ‘noise’, perused the sections, and navigated my way around the site and other user profiles. Pretty cool. A quiet world of chatter in a not so quiet web. Artistic posts, some just out there, others, a bit more mundane, like mine. It’s new. Promising a divergence from ad based social media that’s been out there, collecting whatever information it can in order to hawk P&G products (I like P&G by the way).

Not to my surprise, I had been hearing folks caterwauling about FB selling them out, crying for an opportunity to have another social media outlet, one that was less bizzy and truly social based. Here it was, Ello. After a short while, I see ‘experts’ and others now complaining about their shiny new Ello toy on FACEBOOK.

“I was expecting a bit more. Hope they work out the ‘noise’ thing, because some of it is distracting and meanders.”

“Not impressed. Graphics are ok, kinda weird way of navigating around. Not as good as I thought it would be.”

Wow. Really?

They would have hated Zuck’s first versions of Facebook. Then they would have been unfriending Mark (just like I did at one point) because he was screwing around with the platform. Oh, by the way, that was before the ‘general public’ could access Facebook. Originally, you had to have a college e-mail address in order to access Facebook. My college e-mail address has been inactivate for the past seven years, but I keep it out there for my sign in because, well, I’m nostalgic that way.
I don’t want to forget my first tweet. Something about Thanksgiving dinner and a house ripped apart. No picture or graphics attachment, just a simple statement of what was going on. Yes, I probably tweeted about what I was cooking my family for dinner too. No InstaGram attached pic either, or a geo check-in. Basic. Simple.

If you can’t handle the beta….. oh no, I shouldn’t be so rude. Listen. If you really want an invite to Ello, I still have my five sitting out there. I am being very selective. I’ve done this whole social media thing before. I have an idea of how it might turn out. Hopefully I am wrong, dead wrong.