First Impressions of App.net

app.netIt’s been two weeks now and I have been exploring and using App.net casually. So, what are my first impressions of App.net?

Like so many I bought a membership and by now a lot of people are posting and reposting.
Some got an account but are not very active yet.
Some have jumped on the new network like a tick on a passing wildebeast in the dry season.

The ‘@’ and the ‘#’

My feeling about App.net is that is resembles Twitter the most. Sure, we have more characters (140 vs. 256), but the basic premise looks the same.
The ‘@’ and the ‘#’ are being used profusely and the ‘My Stream’ and ‘Global Stream’ would look quite similar too, to a quick passer by.

I do feel, in light of the recent Twitter APIcalypse, where they grab everything the developers created, that the use of these symbols is a bit revolutionary.
Twitter closes ranks on the API and 3rd party apps (although we’d still be able to use most of them), so we move to a new network and we use the ‘@’ and the ‘#’, because they do not belong to Twitter. They belong to we the people.

By the way, if you have something to tell which takes more than 256 characters, just reply to your own post.

3rd Party Apps

So far I haven’t used too many 3rd party apps, it takes time to sort through them.

I did use Phuu. A simple webapp that helps you find your Twitter friends on App.net

appnet rhino

AppNet Rhino is the only (free) iPhone that has made it to the Belgium AppStore so far and it does what it promises.
It looks cool and feels very smooth. It delivers the streams and provides a way to post (of course).
Also, the profiles look pretty good. Following hashtags and weblinks are no problem either.

It is a minimalistic approach to a minimalistic network. Simple and sweet…

Many apps are in development and I’m sure the more successful App.net becomes, the more apps will be made. Of course, many will fail along the way, some will stand out and survive and one or two will become the default apps to use.

There is a nice blogpost on the App.net Company Blog about 3rd party apps and tools for users.

IFTTT

iftttAnd then there is of cours IFTTT (If This Then That).
An amazing service which has already adopted App.net. I can post from anywhere, straight to App.net (or #adn).

The way you orchestrate this is by making recipes. If a certain service does this than a trigger for another service does that.

For instance, if I post something on App.net and I include ‘#fb’, than that triggers my recipe and the post gets posted to Facebook. Or, when I update a photo to Flickr it gets posted to App.net including ‘#dailyphoto‘.
The combinations are endless. It’s automating the web at its finest.

If you haven’t tried this yet then you should do that.., see what I did there…

Friends

The only real issue with any new network is your real friends, the people you know. They are all somewhere else.
Having them switch to any network is hard enough, having them switch to a paid network which isn’t even in Beta yet.., well.., that is a near impossibility.

I do let them know, but none will join me.., oh, that sounded really sad. Sorry about that.

My point is that a new network where your existing friends cannot be found is a great opportunity to meet new people and maybe even new friends. So lets do that.

If anybody is reading this and has an App.net account, find me there or leave a comment.

Concluded

All in all is the promise made by Dalton Caldwell one that sticks. It is what drove us to App.net. And, when kept, it can make make App.net a truly successful network.
It does seem that enough is being developed and communicated to at least give it a fighting chance the coming year. If everybody keeps this up, I might very well extend my membership.

Author: Rogier Noort

Digital Transformer | Thinker | Listener | Speaker | Podcaster | Writer | Blogger Twitter or LinkedIn.

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