Point/Counterpoint is a recurring feature on BDCwire which explores the pros and cons of various parts of life in Boston. These arguments may or may not, break any new ground, but they’re meant as a starting point for you too to make an argument. What do you think? Are you pro-Ello or anti-Ello?
Perry Eaton, arguing in favor of Ello
Last week, I posted a status to Facebook that I thought was really funny, but it only got like 2 ‘likes.’ What’s the deal with that? And don’t tell me I’m not funny, because I totally am. What’s really causing my lack of ‘likes’ is a lack of eyes on my joke, and who is to blame for that? Mark Zuckerberg and his agenda. I kid, of course (proving once and for all that I’m not actually funny), but on a larger level, Facebook, slowly but surely, has become such an enormous force of dependence for people, brands, and businesses, that a wrench in the gears might not be such a bad thing. Will Ello be the wrench responsible for taking Facebook down? No. But more rapidly than ever, even more so than the spiffy relaunch of Myspace last year, Ello is roping in a critical audience, which means that the ball is essentially in their court. Ello isn’t at a place right now where it will excite people beyond the initial spark of it being something different, but with some quick thinking, strategic marketing, and added features, it could keep the mystique alive and continue to grow. Facebook has been good to us for so long, but in order for Facebook to get better (because it kind of sucks lately, too) it needs something to motivate it. If Ello can’t stay afloat for the long haul, let’s hope it can at least do that.
Jerard Fagerberg, arguing against Ello
Never identify as a designer on the internet. Ever. When you do such a thing, what you’re doing is telling the advertisers of the world that you’ll pay for functionless form. Designers are people who pay $2.5k for a watch with no hands. Designers are people who wear raw denim jacks despite the fact that they’re as comfortable as cardboard. Ello is for designers. Though Facebook is much more open about buying and selling your identity, don’t assume that Ello isn’t after your wallet. It’s exactly what Chris Lee said in The Media. “There’s a dangerous conflation, however, made here between aesthetic minimalism and political merit,” Lee writes, “namely that just because something appears clean, just because it looks, feels and is perceived as pure, then it can’t possibly be tainted by corporate interests.” Basically, Ello is for chumps. It’s for people who bask in the renewed elitism of an invite-only, “cleanly designed” network too long to notice that they’re just jumping cogs in an already menacing machine. Ello can take its minimalism, it’s snootiness, and it’s Notepad-esque design and chuck it in the graveyard where Google+ hangs out. Twitter forever.