For many people App.net stand once for an idea of a Social Network that combines the efforts of a honest and transparent company, which was lined up to change the way that the people where used to gather around virtual campfires and a motivated group of game changing Users, in vanguard of the things that might be self-evident standarts in the near future.
And for a short time, ADN was that exactly. Not only the Users and Makers for themselves where exited and expectant in that period, the media and a relevant group of undecited possible subscribers was that as well.
The Network had gained a lot of Users in that time and nearly all of the useful Stuff and Plattform Improvements dates back to that also.
Of Course, it was the Money from the Subscribers, that made this fast development possible. In Combination with the model of the free (limited) Membership, App.net was defenitely the fancy new shit in that length of time and was quite able to create some Buzz.
The Downfall of a Symbol
Most of you will know, that the Story of App.net unfortunately did not turned out like it was widely predicted.
As a Symbol for an Ad-Free, Data-secured and user-developed Socia Network, ADN has failed.
The reasons for that are complex. There are people who have lost their faith in Privacy in the new „post-Snowden“ Age and that affects thier motivation to pay for a Service like ADN in general.
There are people who wanted to find out about how attractive an Ad-Free Social Network for them really is and decited in the meantime, that the more capitalisitc way of selling thier own data to get a „free“ Social Network, feels not so bad at all.
We can be sure, that there are several more reasons why the idea of App.net has failed.
To sum it up, we can say that ADN once was a Symbol for an new way of Social Networking and even for a new Way of organising the Web in capitalistic and social terms. This Symbol has fallen wich is disappointing and sad.
But above all that, there is another reason why App.net failed, at least in my opinion.
Everybody wants to be naked an famous
The Story of ADN is also a Story of negative Networking-Effects. And this is (nothing more) than a true „social-issue“.
Everybody wants to be heard! But thats not the reason why ADN has failed.
To be honest, it is hard to find a place in the web where people try to understand you and to talk with you about your topics, better and more profitable that on App.net.
The reason why ADN has failed was defentitely not because nobody wants to talk with you there. It failed because of the limited number of possible listeners.
Maybe it is more attractive to be possibly heared than really be heared.
To compare ADN with Twitter in that way:
ADN-users often call Twitter a boring Ad-Spoiled Network, where nobody really wants to talk.
In my Opinion often they are right. But why are so many People on Twitter?
I think it is just because of the possibility of being heared.
Don’t matter how many dead accounts are following each other on twitter, don’t matter which tweets are pushed in your timeline there or not and don’t matter if your content is really yours or not.
Everything that counts is the illusion of a worldwide accepted network where every Post can be famous in seconds.
All that has App.net never been. At least, in the early days it seemed so.
The users left there have moved on in the meantime. They appreciate ADN now more as a Club. A Club of people that talk to each other in personal.
Many of them have met in the physical world already, they are really interested in each other and they are growing thier minds by just talking.
For me, I have decited to take part in this Club as a Free User in the next months.
Why? Because I’m one of these users who has to deal with the disappointment of ADN as a lost Symbol.
I will take part in more chats and more discussions as I have taken in the last time and I will evaluate this for myself.
Maybe I will renew my subscrition again in the future.
And to be kind of pathetic: This might have a keen connection to my „faith“ in this Internet-Thing in general.