Why App.net Isn't Working for Me

I’m writing this in Byword on my iPhone. I felt compelled to write after skimming my App.net timeline in Adian, which, until tonight, hadn’t been launched in a week.

Truth be told, I have a draft sitting in Dropbox of a piece I started a month or so ago about my feelings towards App.net. I haven’t gone back to it mostly because my feelings have been so conflicted. On one hand, I totally agree with MG Siegler when he wrote that App.net is more idyllic than realistic. On the other hand, though, I like the idealism if only because it spits in the eye of the machine – in this case, Twitter. I still feel tinges of this conflict, but opening Adian tonight after so long made me realize something that eases the pain, so to speak.

I just don’t care about App.net very much.

Idealism notwithstanding, I’m with Stephen Hackett when he says he feels like joining wasn’t worth the $50. Let’s face it: App.net is, at its core, effectively a Twitter clone. I follow basically all the same people on App.net – mostly early adopter nerds – that I follow on Twitter. I get pretty much the same information from both services. And most importantly, Twitter has far more practical value to me for two reasons:

  1. I get breaking news; and
  2. My friends (and one of my sisters) are there.

These are huge advantages. As I said, I applaud the App.net guys for wanting to hearken back to the days when Twitter was small and not yet dick-headed, but at least for now, the $50 I paid to join hasn’t bore me any real fruit. If anything, I supported App.net more on principle than pragmatism. In short, App.net as it stands today offers essentially nothing that Twitter doesn’t.

Well, I suppose nothing except for the feel-good “fuck you” to Twitter.