ADN is marked to die any day now. It’s sad since I think it’s been the most interesting thing to happen in social media for quite some time. It had its rough edges and the community, as great as it was, also had some rough edges. Still I had much better discussions there than on Twitter or Facebook.
It looks like the alternative to ADN is going to be pnut which in many ways appears to be an ADN clone with a fairly similar API. Some ADN clients like Chimp have already been ported to the new API. I just barely started using it after getting an invite. (I think it’s still closed for beta testing) Still I’m very excited about it. About the only downside is a limited number of people. (There’s only around 250 beta testing it from what I can tell) I suspect it’ll take a few months to get ready for prime time, but I’m excited about the idea of a real Twitter alternative focused on discussions rather than outrage links.
For most people ADN is yesterday’s news. It’s considered as dead as the dodo. However there’s actually still a pretty good community going on there. As people have noted the signal to noise ratio has gone up quite a bit. Unfortunately the people who run ADN don’t seem to share the hope that some of the continuing users have. Which makes it a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know a few people with innovative clients there aren’t finishing because it doesn’t seem worth the effort.
The best hope for ADN is for some other company like DropBox to make a competitor that uses ADN’s excellent APIs. Even the critics of ADN and its management always acknowledged that in terms of actual engineering it was an amazingly well designed system.
Personally I think it’d make an excellent match with DropBox. They are finding themselves squeezed by Google, Microsoft and Apple who all now have cloud drives now. DropBox’s one hope of differentiating themselves is to offer more services. Right now they have a lot of inertia because few indie developers really support Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive well. Apple’s iOS8 version of iCloud finally gets a DropBox like service and Apple’s been pushing numerous additional services. However Apple doesn’t have open APIs. Basically to use Apple’s services you have to have an app in the App Store. If you are doing Android or in most cases a web client you’re out of luck. Since DropBox was first, most apps support DropBox. For instance 1Password supports DropBox and iCloud but has no offering for OneDrive or GoogleDrive. This is hardly unique.
One of the great things about ADN that perhaps wasn’t as well marketed was the timeline as a service. This let people create private chat systems or private chat. You could also use it as a way of displaying images in a very easy timeline fashion. It seems the sort of thing that DropBox should want to offer to developers. Plus, given the prominence of DropBox as a company, there would be far less fear by developers in using it.
Will they? I see no evidence of it. Which is sad. As I said there was a lot done by ADN that was extremely innovative. By the end it had the feel of a classic forum
Continue reading Some more Thoughts on ADN & DropBox
Interesting analysis of ADN over the last month. Gives me hope for it. It’s more like a forum with a few Twitter like aspects. “People are talking longer … and they’re talking to each other. In the last five weeks, conversations have made up over 80% of all posts with some days seeing 95% of all non-spam posts belonging to a conversation.”
So it sounds like App.Net is not doing too well. Nearly everyone has commented on this story so I won’t say much. I’ll stay on the service until it actually disappears. Most of the people I talk with on ADN are staying too. I think there’s a lot one could do with their technology. We’ll see what happens. If it goes away I’ll definitely miss it. I’ve had lots of great conversations there. It really has its own niche quite different from Facebook or Twitter.
Continue reading ADN and the Social Network Problem.