You've all seen me raving about Ello this and Ello that in the last couple of days, I'm sure. Many of you are asking, "What the fuck is this thing?" and "How do I get an invite?" and "I'm in but it's all confusing and white and I'm lost like a sacrificial lamb!" and "My brain is turning vitriol blue from this eye that is staring at me and where is the "like" button and, oops, I just deleted my post, and..." Bla-bla-bla. Yeah, yeah, I get it.
I am the queen of Ello already and I will share with you the secrets of my dominion.
BOW TO ME.
KISS MY HAND.
Okay, okay, not really. I'm still trying to figure it out myself, but I can tell you that several days in a row I'm spending time there instead of writing. I mean, I'm writing too, but only after I have forced myself to polish one hundred samovars with a bundle of old stockings while feigning fierce optimism. And stuff.
It is really hard to unglue!
Here is why.
- It's ad-free. I mean, man, after forking around on Ello and going back to Facebook it looks like your grandma's musty undies drawer filled with ill-fitted bras and smelly socks stuffed with buckwheat. Or something. Lovely writer Michael Andor Brodeur wrote an equally lovely post about Ello in Boston Globe. Read it.
- It's done by folks who have been building beautiful things for a while, and it's fucking beautiful. I mean, I'm sick to my stomach of clunky yell-in-your-face buttons. I want minimalism. I'm a trained designer and architect, for fuck's sake. I LOVE THE CLEAN DESIGN OF ELLO SO MUCH I WANT TO EAT IT.
- Precisely because of its interface it's attracting perfectionist snobs like me so I feel like I'm for once surrounded with people with the same heightened sensibility to glorious shit. Glorious posts. Glorious stories. Glorious pictures. Glorious formatting. Even glorious emojis. I can finally insert goats in my posts. That alone is worth gold.
- I can edit anything I want! I can format text, make it bold, italic, grey it out, edit it to death, insert goats, insert elephants, cookies, make it long, make it short, make it long again, add pictures, add farts (well, they are still working on the farts feature). I CAN'T SHARE OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF OR LIKE IT, BUT MORE FEATURES ARE COMING.
- I fucking love their manifesto. Read it.
- Did I mention it's ad-free? It's ad-free. Meaning, companies are not collecting your every breath, your every glance and squeak and sneeze and burp and fart. Niggle that into your brain, roll it around. Thank about it. NO DATA IS BEING COLLECTED ON YOU. They explain it here.
- They have no policy to use your real name, *cough* *cough* *Facebook* *cough*, so you can be whatever drag queen you want to be.
- THEY HAVE A NO-TOLERANCE FOR TROLLS THING. Which means, if someone trolls someone once, yes, you read this right, once, they are banned from the site for life. You can do a Russian Kamarinskaya dance now.
- They really take privacy seriously. Like, seriously seriously.
- They will make money by selling special features, like allowing you to login with one name into multiple accounts or having your own color scheme or giving you specially designed emojis of your shrewish boarish face. Or whatever. Hell, I'd pay for this in a heartbeat to escape the inundating ad-noise and the selling of my guts from company to company. I'm sure you feel the same way.
There are doubts, of course. Read this article. If that is not enough for you, you can also read this article. I mean, come on, we've all been burned with this. Facebook started out of a dormitory and was ad-free. Twitter started ad-free. But I have a strange faith in these Ello dudes. After all, if they break their promise, they will lose a pretty cool crowd of people.
Consider this fact. Currently about 45K people are joining Ello per hour. Per hour. About an hour ago when I checked the news, it was 35K. By the time I publish this blog, it will probably be 55K or more. About 1MM people are awaiting invites right now. This Ello thing is about to blow up.
If you're a writer, I suggest YOU JOIN NOW.
Grandfather yourself in before the rest of the world jumps onboard. I have a good gut feeling about this. This is the next thing. You must be there. You and your books and your writing and your daily ruminations and, yes, your cat pics too.
I'm currently out of invites, so is my boyfriend, but I'm waiting for more. If you have invites, kindly share your email in comments so more of you hamsters can get in.
Oh. And I'M HERE ON ELLO.
See you there.