You can now follow iMore, and our Mobile Nations sibling sites on the new app.net social network/micro-blogging service:
And you can follow many of our editors, writers, and hosts there as well:
- @cbk (Kevin Michaluk)
- @kessler (Derek Kessler)
- @llofte (Leanna Lofte)
- @iMuggle (Ally Kazmucha)
- @azeis (Adam Zeis)
app.net is a Twitter-style social network that, instead of selling advertising based on reader engagement, charges an up-front fee to end users -- $50 for individuals or $100 for developers who want API access. Neither service is "free". With Twitter, you pay with your content and attention. With app.net, you pay with your money. They're simply different business models. Neither is inherently better than the other, the important thing is different is good, and options are good. Especially options that make app.net stand apart from Jaiku, Pownce, Buzz, and other not-Twitters that came before.
There's an argument to be made that app.net isn't different enough from Twitter in one crucial regard -- it's run by one company, rather than being a open standard like email or RSS. The worry is, if someone already sees Twitter becoming too much of a dictatorship, even if app.net is a more benevolent dictatorship, one day that too may change. Fair point.
Also, at $50/year to play, it probably won't appeal to casual users, or to the very people Twitter wants to target -- those who follow a hundred celebrities and #hashtag the crap out of their American Idol and similar TV-driven tweets. But it will likely appeal to the same people who originally used Twitter, who helped spread and grow the platform. And even if it's never big enough for Twitter to notice or fear, it could just become big enough for us geeks to notice and enjoy.
It's smaller, quieter, almost more intimate than Twitter at this point -- or more like the way Twitter was at the beginning. And it's still in alpha, with native apps for iPhone and iPad still very much private betas and works in progress.
But app.net is there, and for right now, for Mobile Nations, for iMore, and for us geeks, that's what matters.
If you're using app.net as well, drop a link for your @name in the comments and @iMore will follow you, and continue the discussion there...