So I’ve been on ADN for a few weeks now; most recently active once good clients for iOS started to come out.
Thus far, my preference is on Felix, an elegant little app that implements a lot of the niceties of modern app design; it reminds me a lot of Reeder. NetBot also came out recently, and we’ve seen a huge swell of new users. I’d call these two the top apps at the moment.
I’m also using #moApp on the desktop; reminiscent of Twitter.app, but definitely alpha code.
It’s early days. Things will improve; I’m looking forward to it.
ADN is surprisingly appealing. It’s reaching back to when the global stream on Twitter was still consumable, when conversations could be started by replying at random to interesting tweets by people you didn’t know. Twitter was open, without technology separating people; conversation was king.
Something changed as Twitter moved towards media interests. We were isolated from our friends’ conversations; the global feed blanked out, restricted only to “preferred partners.” Communities were stratified; discovery vanished into physical meetings and happenstance.
We were there to be broadcast to, celebrities and brands ruling the day.
ADN isn’t that; the media managers haven’t arrived, the brands and celebrities haven’t infected the space, and I can still follow the global feed, find people I didn’t know.
It’s reminding me what I lost when Twitter changed, what we used to have. I missed seeing people I follow having conversations, interacting with each other. I miss snippets and half-seen threads, the vibrancy of thought and communication.
New viewpoints no longer reach my feed; without provocative speech whipping into the ether, there’s no retweets. Without controversy, there’s no signal, no new voices responding, questioning, or communicating.
Monetization of the graph drives these changes, the snippets of Trending, endless consumption. A conversation isn’t desired; I’m ignoring Partner Messaging. Making conversation hard made mining the data easier, makes the data more valuable.
ADN gives back those old days. I can reach into the feed, speak into the feed, be heard, be answered. I don’t need controversy to drive a conversation, honest questions are enough.
I’ve met over a hundred new people in the short weeks since I joined. A hundred! Compared to 20, perhaps 30 on Twitter over the last year.
Twitter discourages conversations among multiple people. Comments are directed to me alone; like emails that I can re-broadcast. It takes extra effort to make that signal include others, to bring the conversation wider. My exposure to the new is kept low; those 20 to 30 were from physical meets, events I attended.
It’s never about me communicating, on Twitter. I’m a cog, a pair of eyeballs to consume media.
I’m enjoying ADN because it changes that dynamic; I’m their customer. I have the power to reshape the service, to build new technologies, even to prevent the cultural collapse that Twitter is experiencing.
I just talk to people, and they can talk to me, and we can all talk to each other. The stratification is gone; the “Internet Celebrity” effect is gone. It’s people, talking freely.
On ADN, a new account costs at least $5. On Twitter, it’s free, it shows, with garbage blasted into the network faster than it can be removed. The wall of money will either keep spam low, or drive even more identity theft and fraud.
I hope for the former.
It will fade, of course, as all things do. The brands will come, the media managers with their adherence to follower counts and mining social data. The global feed will grow beyond anyone’s ability to read it.
They’ll try to turn it to Twitter, twisted to their anti-community desires. Another broadcast platform, another Hydra head of “brand.”
I’ll miss interesting ideas.
But for now, we can enjoy every minute of it.