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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9 thoughts on “Ello: What do we have here then?

  1. Sadly, #ello is not another venture captilalist-backed commercial, proprietary network and there’s no guarantee that if and when they’ve hooked a large number of user they won’t commit the same crimes as Facebook.

    Diaspora has been around for three years and is a mature, stable, open source and community-led social network that has much greater functionality than Ello. It’s a bit like a mix of early Facebook and Twitter and it’s very easy to view just the content you want to see.

    I strongly recommend that the burlesque scene goes with Diaspora and not Ello.

    • I am aware of Diaspora, I think now there’s been the mass migration to Ello of LGBT and Burlesque Communities it’s going to be hard to get everyone to move again. I know there is no guarantee but their word at this stage that they wont sell out for the big bucks but why would anyone doubt that when they haven’t shown that they’re untrustworthy in the first place?

  2. I don’t think most of us think of Ello as the network we want to ‘live’ in, but hopefully the bridge to the next one that we do. They have literally welcomed our community officially, knowing the name and privacy issues we are dealing with. That, at least, says a lot for now. Sure, they aren’t quite ready yet, but maybe the sudden huge influx of performance artists, their friends, fans, and family will help set things in motion in a quicker pace (albeit one where they don’t have the kind of staff they need for this quite yet).

    However Diaspora was quite a letdown when they made a lot of promises and then clunked down into the scene. It was bad enough that the founders all pointed fingers at each other and one of them sadly killed himself over it. The one good feature about the site was quickly stolen by G+ leaving little to desire for average folks (however ISIS loves it if you’ve been following the news).

    And, as past developers of the network will tell you, the sole purpose of G+ was to collect data on people. They know at this point that they don’t need real names for that as being who they are, they can easily track people anyway. Why flock to a site whose intentions were cynical to begin with?

    It’s not that we want a TOTALLY private place to talk to one another where we can’t be seen. We WANT to be able to talk to people and meet new friends and fans. We just want to be able to do it safely for all parties. FB complained that their name policy was in place to discourage people from doing bad things on their site anonymously. If only they had some way of countering that…like say added a ‘block’ button or a way of reporting people who use the site for bad purposes. Because if they had those function then any argument they made about people hiding behind fake names would be moot.

    It also didn’t help that the founder of FB basically told anyone with very good reasons for not using their real name that they had a lack of integrity. Take that woman who is trying to lead a normal life after escaping from an abusive ex! A person with real integrity would let that ex know where she was at all times by using the map function, right? Hoo-boy.

    Anyway, great article! Let’s hope it all goes well, but if not, hopefully it’ll inspire somebody to go even further and create the better FB – which in itself was a take off on Myspace – which itself started as a clone of Friendster.

    • Couldn’t agree more Chris, as a user of the old style message boards in the last 90s/early 2000s before the event of social media as we know it., I know that it’s only a matter of time before something new comes along. Maybe that’s why I;m loving the simplistic nature of Ello….

      Hopefully it’s a move towards more user driven SM rather than profit/advertiser driven platforms.

  3. Ello could be interesting twice for me. First I am part of LGBTI community and second iam a burlesque performer 🙂 … The only thing I don’t understand is how to join this ? Do you have to invite me or ello ??? Xoxox Sheila

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