Why I Pay for a Social Network or: The Money Really Is a Red Herring

Interestingly, and almost right on cue, the free police have descended on Dalton Caldwell for following through with something as original and outside-the-box as his audacious proposal, the supremely interesting app.net alpha community (and associated API). These doubters are mostly, I don’t know, anti-technology-business-experiments or something, and I’ve decided that they simply do not understand its significance yet.

If I may hazard a guess, what these late adopters aren’t grasping is the fact that right now, app.net is a lot more expensive than the sticker price seems to suggest. The cheaper options are still closer to $1000 on the cost side for I’d say the dominant majority of its users. Do you know why? Most of them seem like they’re busy hustling some kind of profit that they can live off of, and even participating in this network, to say nothing of developing for it, is an enormous time investment! We’re putting our money down to give Dalton food and motivation, because he’s convinced us that 50 bucks a year does not matter anymore for a network with as much potential as this. I’d pay twice as much every year just for the publishing functionality, regardless of how many users stick around, and especially if they maintain this superb commitment to the product. Think about what you are actually using your money for, people! This is starting to look ridiculous – I think it’s rather undeniable that Dalton has touched one heck of a nerve here!

There is only one way that the app.net community can ever shake off the rather myopic “elitist Twitter” label that naysayers seem to be gravitating towards, and start something that I think a lot of people around the world will want. That is to prove to them what a network of interested parties can do. To that effect, I’m working on a new Chrome extension called AppAnnotate that uses the app.net API to let people annotate any web page and share notes with friends. The way of the future!

2 thoughts on “Why I Pay for a Social Network or: The Money Really Is a Red Herring”

  1. This funding model and initial community, including many developers, should indeed be able to build a great social tool. But to give “people around the world” what they want, sensitivity to different income levels is needed. See Kerim Friedman’s G+ post at http://bit.ly/PPDRf2 for a succinct exposition.

    Dalton Caldwell has acknowledged this issue, for example at https://alpha.app.net/dalton/post/3145 . It’s to be hoped that a pricing structure or a “free tier” will in due course allow equitable access for everyone everywhere.

    1. I suppose all of those questions will be sorted out in due time, but it would be possible to make a free service, today, that links into and allows cross-communication and network relationships with the app.net community, so they don’t necessarily even have to be the same organization. I’m probably not the one to answer that in the end, though.

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