To Ello or Not to Ello
That was never the question.
Did you ask yourself why do you need another social network that can do less things than any others around?
The landing page itself is a confusion
Wrong Sales Pitch
You have no idea what your product is supposed to do, hence you made this statement:
Your social network is owned by advertisers.
Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.
We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. 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.
You are not a product.
Ello, unfortunately, the thinking process is all wrong from the ground up.
You probably ask “Why?”
If you want to be something different, be different — they made yet another social network; where the topology is loosely based on the typical social network idea.
A lot of social networks tried freemium models. Some had some success but obviously 90% of those network people moved to Facebook.
So, ask yourself what is wrong? Why a polished product like Google+, still couldn’t catch up?
The answer is; they all went to the topology of what Facebook does. So there is no innovation nor something so unique that will make them stand out of the crowd.
The core of every social network is data mining, we give them our data, they mix it — create discovery. And, when they need, they provide the data to the advertiser.
Why is that?
Because every free or freemium social network is backed by investors.
Eventually most god alike investor would like to see a good return of his/her money.
Ask yourself what would you do, if you are the investor.
Design and User Experience Disaster
User experience is plain awful. Made by artists, yet another wrong move.
Nobody asks an artist to make a car or a spaceship. You know why? because cars needs to be practical, efficient, well performed and user friendly.
So when some artist went to make a web based product. They missed out a significant amount of user experience and user interface elements.
At the first look it would manage to confuse you quite easily. Fonts and Typography would make you think you are working on Terminal. In fact Terminal fonts are better. I mean seriously, they couldn’t even figure out the navigation yet.
Obviously that was an UI/UX designers job.
Steve Jobs said,
“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”
Read why Ello is a Design Disaster
Wrong Product Model
Talking about AD-Free network, deja vu all over again. We’ve heard that before. Remember Diaspora or App.net ?
A product need to supply at least 200% extra value/feature of Facebook to make users actually pay for it.
So what feature that is so great that a user would pay for a paid model.
Also to sell something to the end user, you actually need to have something to sale. Ello does not have any sort of business proposition either.
What I think of the next Social Network
The true ad-free, secure and non data mining social network can only be a distributed system.
What does that mean? It means the whole program and data resides on user’s side. When user wants, they can take their data and go offline.
Basically work like a P2P network. It can sync and adopt to any private cloud for backup or execution. Said that, this next generation product must be simple, distributed and easy to maintain. Take email for example. Almost anybody can set it up.
It can be taken offline and put it away if necessary and user information would stay only at users side. Then it would focus on usability, user experience and interface. Yes, I can understand there won’t be any monetization but that is the point of it.
I am not against Ello, I just think it’s not even a beta product, it’s something like pre-alpha. It’s obvious they have no direction to their own business.
Honestly, to take a product on the road, they really need to think about the end game plan. It changes along the way but it can reach the goal.
With current Ello, they are talking pretty much every type of safe answers.
There is not a single unique idea there which can make you say .. “aha this is something interesting”.. or “I never thought of that”.
Right now, ELLO is a very immature, unprofessional limited social text editor.
If you want to know what should be done beforehand, look at any popular Kickstarter product pages. They did the right sales pitch for their product, users understood it, and the developers provide a clear idea of the product. Even though it might change in future.
What they need at this point is to make a proper product idea first.
Then only, they should get proper product managers and UI/UX designers to execute it.
Otherwise they are bound to get doomed.