Ello: What do we have here then?

Well it seems that the burlesque community have pretty much had enough of facebook. The straw that broke the camel’s back being the enforced real name policy that appears to be rolling out. You have to show your ID or change your name otherwise that’s it, account deleted. You should set up a page, facebook say, if this is a performer account.

There are many reasons why performers don’t want to use a page, mainly the open accessibility of it. If performing isn’t your only profession and there’s a chance colleagues, clients, your boss could see you in your under crackers on the net and conclusions can be jumped to inevitably you’ll end up in the soup. Sure you can ban people from your page, but if they’ve already seen what you don’t want them to the damage is done.

I think we’re all aware of the connotations of the biggest social media platform allowing people to have potentially bogus accounts, and their responsibility within their real name remit BUT surely there should be exceptional circumstances. Performers aren’t pretending to be something they’re not, in fact arguably they’re being their real selves.

I have had a page for years now, after FB deleted my account I thought it was the best choice. A lot of other performers have pages only but as much as you miss out on the drama, you also miss out on the community and conversation.

So when I heard about Ello I wondered why people weren’t just moving over to G+ instead. It has an established burlesque community. It doesn’t require your real name (since July 2014). So I went to my FB page and asked. Frankii Wilde replied “I think because of the whole ad free and being able to opt out of your info being shared to third parties”. Interesting I thought. I ventured over to Ello and read their manifesto. Breath of fresh air.

So I asked for an invite. I signed up and made my way around.  I LOVE IT.

Below are a few hints and tips to get you started, please remember the site is still in BETA and while you may think it’s a bit buggy, this is what testing is for:

ello 1

Upload a profile photo: In your friends feed it won’t show names so your photo is an essential so people can see who is saying what. You also have the option of uploading a cover photo, it needs to be in the dimensions of 1800 x 1013 (use free pic monkey to resize or create a collage) and people will see this when scrolling up.

ello toolbar

Menu:

Ello Logo: Click this and you’ll be taken back to your friend feed.

Discover: Click on this and it’ll take you to the search page, a few people are having issues with it but if you type in a friend’s name you should be able to find them. Click the word search, type, and away you go. I have found it a lot easier finding people then looking at their friends list and adding people from there.

Invite: Click this to be taken to the page to invite your friends. Generate codes, send them out.

Settings: Click here to change your personal settings, including privacy and email notifications and if, like me, you have multiple accounts – to log out.

Hide Sidebar: The last option hides the sidebar and gives you a full screen view of your feed.

ello friend

Connecting to People: You have two choices, add someone as a friend or add them to noise, it’s a good way of grouping people (much like G+ circles but with only two options currently). The people you add won’t know which they’ve been filtered into, so no awkward moments. Click on either to see either feed.

And that, is that.

So why do I like it?

The simplicity of it makes it refreshing. No gumph, no timeline with sponsored posts, just a feed of updates from your friends, willing you to connect with them.

I love that there’s no “likes” function. If people see something they like, they’ll comment on it. Remember that? The good old days where if you saw a beautiful photo you say it rather than lazily liking it. That like button is far too easy and tempting to press.

It would benefit from a few extras, private messaging, a phone app and notification system but these are all in the pipeline. If you think something is missing, go to the Feature List section it will tell you what’s coming soon.

The success of Ello does of course depend of on people using it, posting to it, connecting to people through it. Many people will still be using their FB accounts in case they’re missing out but I think as long as everyone gives it a go it could really be the next best thing.

If you’d you’d like to add me you can find me @ivywilde and @staceystitch

So what does everyone else think? Are you on there? Loving/Hating Ello? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Charlene Taylor: The Truth Behind the Tabloids via 21st Century Burlesque

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Ginger Valentine’s Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend Diary via 21st Century Burlesque

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Russell Bruner’s Vienna Boylesque Festival Diary via 21st Century Burlesque

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