So for our very first Weird Entrepreneur of the week, I present Ello.
Like many people, I haven’t been too happy with Facebook. (But you can still like my page. Weird Entrepreneur ) I am not happy that my timeline is filled with ads. I am not happy that I am missing posts from the pages that I have liked. I am not happy that FaceBook is collecting data about me, and selling it to the highest bidder. But I do like FaceBook for keeping in touch with family and friends. I love seeing all the pictures, and even some funny cat videos. (When FB chooses to show them to me!)
I have a page on Google Plus, and that is better than FaceBook. Except that it is hard to get people to join you there. And it is run by Google. And we know Google is the expert when it comes to data mining.
So I was really happy to hear about Ello. Now I know that many people have tried to create an alternative to FaceBook. Most of them have failed. They have failed because they saw what was popular, and then tried to copy it. That doesn’t work. Why go to a second rate copy of FaceBook, when you can just use FaceBook?
Ello did something different.
Ello saw what was wrong with FaceBook, and offered a better solution.
Ello promises they won’t collect and sell your data, they also say that they hate ads. Here, direct from their site, is the Ello Manifesto.
Your social network is owned by advertisers.
Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded, and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.
We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity, and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.
We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.
You are not a product.
Question. Then how can they make money? Every business needs to make money to stay in business. If they are not going to be around I don’t want to waste my time setting up a presence there.
The Answer: In the future, Ello plans to offer upgrades that you can pay for, while keeping most of their most popular services free. I like this model.
Once again, from the Ello.co website:
Ello is completely free to use.
Very soon we will begin offering special features to our users. If we create a special feature that you like, you can choose to pay a very small amount of money to add it to your Ello account forever. We believe that everyone is unique and that we all want and need different things from a social network. So, we are going to offer all sorts of ways for users to customize their Ello experience.
The vast majority of Ello’s features, the ones that all of us use every day, are always going to be free, and we’ll keep improving them. When you choose to pay a small amount of money for a new feature, you help support Ello as an ad-free network and help us make it better and better.
In the future, if Ello stays true to itself, I will pay for those upgrades. Whether I want them or not, so I can support a social platform that lets me do what I want to do.
The Downside to Ello
Like everything else in life, Ello is not all sunshine and lollipops. There are a few bugs that still need to be worked out, and a few things that will just take some getting used to.
First of all, the domain. I still type in domains. I am having a little problem with Ello. Their domain is ello.co no M. My fingers type .com everytime, and I have to go back and delete the m. I will get there. It will just take practice. The cool thing is that ello.co rhymes, so it is a little easier to remember.
Second, they are still in beta, so many of the features that you are used to having aren’t there yet, like private messaging and user blocking. But, those are on the up and coming list, so I expect that as Ello comes out of beta it will be more full featured.
And Third, there aren’t many people there yet. Right now it is more of an ello….ello….ello, as in echo…echo…echo…. At this writing I have exactly one friend. You can change that. When you get your ello invite and log into ello, feel free to add me as a friend. @kathie. And as more people join, ello will lose its echo.
So for now, I am willing to give Ello a try. Plus by joining early I got to use my name, my real name, without any numbers or extra characters. I like that! And if I don’t I can change it later.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think of ello,