The UK’s Telegraph has an article comparing Burning Man with the rise of the social media network Ello (I’m @zos). It seems social media has become full of squares and obsessed with monetization; so the cool kids are looking for something new.
Source: the Telegraph (emphasis ours):
Last year, two square, but great, friends of mine announced they were going to the Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock desert.
Of course they were entitled to do so, but my first thoughts were that if people like that were going, then Burning Man was over as a out-there festival. Not only was it time to turn to the infinitely more interesting AfrikaBurn in South Africa’s Tankwa Karoo, but it also minded me of other people’s adoption of social media, especially Twitter.
It was only a matter of time before all the early day Cassandras and piss-takers finally joined Twitter, but now that they’ve done so along with most reasonably educated people, perhaps it is time to turn to the AfrikaBurn equivalent of Twitter’s Burning Man and find another medium to operate within.
That potential decision is being replicated by many others who’ve been on social networks for the past five years or so. We probably weren’t the earliest of adopters, but call us the middle-class adopters, those who catch a fire, not ignite the flame…
The recent emergence of trending, invitation-only, ad-free and minimalist social network Ello is a case in point. Its founder Paul Budnitz pulls no punches in his company’s attitude towards a network such as Facebook. “We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership. We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate – but a place to connect, create and celebrate life,” he says.
…Twitter needs to monetise and the recent announcement by its CFO Anthony Noto at a financial conference that it will introduce a Facebook-style feed filtered algorithmically because Twitter believes it KNOWS what is important to you, does not augur well. Twitter’s desperation to monetise means that existing Twitter lovers will feel that adoration slowly dribble away. New users, such as past-it-Burning-Man-attendees won’t care about this; people like us will. It’s like being a mobile operator customer for a decade and then finding out new subscribers are receiving deals you were never offered and never dreamt about.
…The same goes for brands on Facebook. The much-derided ‘Likes’ metric may have had its day, but even so brands still need to have a minimum of ‘Likes’ to feel authentic in front of a social audience. Even so, there appears to be on Facebook a ‘10,000 rule’, rather like the so-called 10,000 hours that must be practised before somebody becomes sufficiently accomplished at a craft.
…“Our graphs show that not only does reach decline after 10,000 likes, but the bottom line is that even though you could put in significant efforts to grow your Facebook ‘status’, an algorithm change on Facebook’s side could wipe out your efforts anyway”, he says.
…Twitter [launched] The Dots, a ‘LinkedIn for creatives’, so the Social Media 2.0 bandwagon is continuing to attract new caravanners as much as the aforesaid Burning Man festival is losing the cool factor.
Ello and Dots are just the beginning. Whether they are the new Facebook or Twitter remains to be seen, but the one thing that is certain that I’ll be at AfrikaBurn in South Africa next April.
Maybe I’ll invite my square mates along and send them an invitation to Ello at the same time. Thus the circle will be squared.