The App.Net phenomenon: A new paradigm?

Saturday, November 17, 2012 – 59 views

— by drunkenpirate

I recall very clearly the sequence of events that led to me signing up as a member of ADN. A tweet appeared sent by my old friend narayan where he asked if anyone was at work, designing a new client for ADN.

Now I'd known about ADN for some time. I'd skimmed the posts (on theverge, engadget and others) about Dalton's crusade against the established social network powerhouses. My habit when it comes to the big bad world of web programming (as opposed to the peaceful realm of enterprise software where I reside) is to keep a finger on the pulse but no more. So a quick 'Hmm...interesting. Go Dalton! Fuck da police!' later, I put that topic out of mind. Like any good hobbit I saw no need to go meddling in the affairs of wizards, for they are wise and quick to anger.

But the aforementioned tweet got me interested, and I decided (seeing as how I was getting jaded with my social networks) to see if this 'revolution' would work for me. I started off reading the now famous open letter to gauge the motivation behind this project. After years of working on enterprise projects I've become extremely proficient at gauging the success/failure of a venture often by simply looking at the mission statement. And what can I say about Dalton's philosophy towards ADN? He had me at 'Hello!'. Well not really. He never said hello in that letter (how rude!). Instead let me just say from my lips he drew the 'Hallelujah'! Right! Nobody freak out. I meant that in a good #brah sorta way! When I read this passage and I quote:

"I believe that future social platforms will behave more like infrastructure, and less like media companies. I believe that a number of smaller, interoperable social platforms with a clear, sustainable business models will usurp you. These future companies will be valued at a small fraction of what Facebook and Twitter currently are. I think that is OK. Platforms are judged by the value generated by their ecosystem, not by the value the platforms directly capture."

I think I saw what I can only best-describe as a paradigm shift. I earnestly believe in this as the future. I think this is the only way for a social network to progress, instead of being 'that website' which used to be cool in high school. I also believe this ideal makes a social network a far more powerful platform than one limited to what its creators can envision. This opens a powerful new thought- as more users jump into the app.net society, the possibilities of the functionality we could derive from this level of engagement and use will be limitless. I can imagine a completely productive day spent (even in an enterprise environment) within the confines of the eco-system provided to me by app.net . I could sync up with people through bread-and-butter posts, perhaps write blogs as I'm doing now, listen to music (#jukebox and #MondayNightDanceParty), chat (once the direct messaging API is out and is tweaked a bit) and once some genuine collaboration software gets written for appstronauts what will follow is genuine productivity. You know like where you work and get results from it? As opposed to contemporary twitter and facebook - typing out inane jokes with hashtags, sharing some pics and clicking some ads.

Now we're not there yet. But as was mentioned in the first ADN podcast (I hear it's up on iTunes, if not go here ) we're only 4 months in. The ADN team is working really hard and we're seeing huge levels of engagement from the Dev community. It also helps that it has been simply a lot of fun to hang out with the people here. I won't get into that - great things have been written about that like here but let me say even now in it's infancy_ app.net_ has been an absolute riot to be on.

So I'm all buckled in. I think I've paid for a platform and a service which I see rapidly expanding in scope and use, and I'm glad to be on the nose-cone of this rocket as it lifts off. There is more to come on ADN. This is only a very bright beginning we have made and the beauty of this idea is that there can be no end.


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