Status Networks

October 02, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Marco:

Why do Tent and App.net try to be so much more than a status-message network? What's wrong with just doing the hell out of status messages with basic metadata support? (Works great for Twitter, and they're not even doing a good job of it anymore.)

I agree. Maybe they need to create a "value proposition" beyond a social network. I don't think that's a winning strategy.1

I'm on Tent.is and I have an account on App.net. In reality, I use Twitter. I don't have a need beyond what Twitter delivers. I want to say stupid things to people I like, post random links and have very short conversations outside of email.

While I can respect what App.net is trying to do, I'm not a fan of building another Twitter. Any social network that is reliant on a revenue stream will always have the potential to follow Twitter into the cesspool. That's business.

I, as a paranoid nerd, prefer to own my data. Tent provides that option. If I want, I can host my own node of Tent and the entire service can exist as a distributed network without a central host. It's like two-way RSS where users subscribe to each other.2 I like that model.

Right now I'm using a free account hosted on Tent.is while I wait to see if the service has a future. For me to move entirely to Tent, I need a Tentbot or Tenteriffic app. I need easy linking and embedding. I need ubiquity. iOS and OS X have increased my affinity for Twitter against all of Twitters efforts to repel me. It's almost too easy to Tweet and receive notifications now.

Unfortunately, Twitter has chummed the waters as they rot from within.3 There are going to be more Twitter clones every month. But they are just flies buzzing around the stink. They will pick up a fraction of users but I don't see any of them as a competitor without some serious cash flow. The nerds have lost Twitter. My migration from Twitter does not cost them a thing. My presence on Twitter does not gain them a thing.

What could cost them is a competitor that doesn't care about advertising. Tent.is or App.net need a patron that does not need advertising. They need a Microsoft or Apple4 to endorse, integrate and fund them. They need piles of cash and a reason to not sell out to advertisers.


  1. By winning, I mean self-sustaining without douchery. 

  2. I'm completely ignorant of webservices and protocols. This is my best stab at explaining the small amount I understand. 

  3. Mmmmm, Hyperbole. 

  4. Let's dream a bit. Both Microsoft and Apple deeply integrating one of these services as a selling point for their operating systems would be enough. 

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