Last week, I paid $50 to sign up for entrepreneur Dalton Caldwell‘s new start-up App.net. I wouldn’t have found the service by myself until it’d have been too late for me to get on their bandwagon early – and getting early on a promising bandwagon is something I’ve always missed out on. So, on a friend’s advice, I signed up for the alpha as a paying member (the other tier being paying developer), and went about finding out what really I’d signed up for. I know, it sounds stupid.
From where I was looking, App.net – by leaving out advertisers – provided access to more definition for developers to work with. Sure, it looks like Twitter for now, but I’m hoping that in the near future, it could yield a unified service through which I could manage my entire web-based social graph in real-time.
I’m not a developer. Sure, I can navigate through the world of developers, but I’d only be a tourist at the most. What I am at heart is an information-collator and -distributor. I read almost 50 articles on various topics every day, and that’s just opinion/analysis pieces. News is separate. More than anything, I’d be thrilled if I had someway to represent myself through these commodities (like I’m doing now by sharing links and blurbs on Facebook and short quips on Twitter) in a more tractable manner.
Not to mention: I’d also like it if I was able to customize what I had to offer and serve it differently. For instance, Twitter-lists is a concept that comes closest to tracking, in real-time, news on my favorite subjects from my favorite commentators. However, Twitter’s social infrastructure has left the possibilities arising out of that fragmented. Imagine, instead, how great it’d be if I could set up one platform from atop which multiple authors could share their favorite reads in real-time, which readers could then customize and consume.
Perhaps I’m going too far, perhaps I’m imagining things, but I’d like to think such things will become possible, and that App.net will have a role to play in it. Sure, I had $50, and I could just be trying to salvage the sense in my decision right now. However, if I hadn’t thought these and such things would be possible, I wouldn’t have spent the money I’d saved up to buy some hosting space for this blog.