During the springtime of 2013 I decided to join a new online community at App.net (Wikipedia entry). Heck, as it'd recently changed to a' Freemium' funding model I even paid for social networking! Today (Friday the thirteenth in year 1 PostCelebPocalypse) I found that the service will close in the middle of March 2017.
Its major strengths: no ads, 256 character posts, awesome apps, and a willingness by all to engage with and welcome newcomers. It simply wasn't too big. Though on the surface an oasis of calm amidst the chaos of the wider Internet there were indeed flaws, the business model wasn't perfect, but it didn't matter to me, I 'belonged'.
The apps that stood out for me in a network originally setup to encourage and to fund app and service development:
- Felix by @billkunz (I bought a t-shirt),
- Riposte and Whisper by @jaredsinclair & @jaminguy (I bought the t-shirt),
- Chimp by @ludolphus (is there a shirt‽),
- Kirby by @griff (no shirt).
So Baz haz a sad that the inevitable end is near. But why, seeing as I've not been an active participant since before the middle of 2016?
Signing up to App.net (ADN) resulted in the some of the best things, the most stimulating things (even including btinternet.chatter!) I've ever done online. Rather than simply participate I joined in.
My big but short, exhaustive but necessarily incomplete, list of stuff:
- As-of right now I've posted way more than 28,260 things there, including reposts. That alone should tell you something.
- I badly ran #ThemeMonday for a while after @berklee bowed out. Though it doesn't sound much we changed our avatars every month, created individually to a theme chosen by popular vote. It was fun!
- I took over #QuoteSunday from @zephyr. (We posted quotations from famous, infamous, and not-so-famous people; all to suit our mood on the day.)
- I created a rudimentary Linux shell script to interact with App.net on the command line. Baz the programmer! (I called it ayadn_shell partly in homage to @ericd's awesome Ayadn rubygem but mainly because, without that application onto which mine piggybacked, mine simply would not work let alone be possible!)
- After a happening by chance onto a conversation started by someone tired of being tired I collaborated on an MMTPORPAG (minutely-massive-two-player-online-role-playing-adventure-game.) An Adventure of epic proportions; at least it would have been if my life hadn't got in the way. Thanks @mlv. (Incidentally, I can't get the specific Treeview.us thread to load, I'd love to archive the whole thread. Help please!)
- I became a Wiki Editor for a while at the now defunct App.net Wiki, a volunteer-run repository for the minutiae of a social network. I tested new ideas at my personal site. Thanks @kdfrawg, for letting me fiddle for a while.
- I took over #WednesdayChallenge (#WedC) from @nitinkhanna and ran that too for a while. A short story, to a theme again chosen by popular vote and in fewer than 256 characters; oh, how those creative juices flowed!
- I helped out with @isaacjw's #TuesdayChallenge too, a weekly way for like-minded folks to showcase their artistic skills. (Me? I used a child's magnetic board.)
- Oh, and footnotes.\*
It's not a big list, and though I may have forgotten something big it's representative of the network's scope.
But, without all those lovely people, none of my activities mentioned above would have been remotely possible . I'm conscious of the fact others may have been involved prior to my arrival, but I'm speaking from my personal experience. And that's the key to ADN, a very personal experience, not shaped by the knowledge someone's looking over your shoulder with a view to monetising your post content.
Best-of-all I relaxed. I met some wonderful, chatty, clever, insightful, downright amazing people there.
Thankyou all, I'll never forget.
But, to perhaps understand what I'm thinking right now, you had to be there. I was, it was great.
I am @bazbt3 both on 10Centuries.org (Jason Irwin's burgeoning social/blogging/podcasting network, for which I have invite codes) and on Twitter.
*Let's just say I popularised them, albeit in a limited manner.