Ello

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Ello is microblogging silo similar to Twitter or Tumblr for posting short status update notes and pictures. Ello offers threaded commenting and a minimalist "designy" feel to it with some unusual (but nice) UX animations & interface ideas. As of Sep. 2014 Ello is currently invite-only.

Features

Ello provides the following features as observed from others use thereof:

Contents

Indieweb Support

gRegor Morrill inquired about adding microformats2 support or other indieweb technology like webmention. A developer responded that he was not personally familiar with them, but would give it a look. [1]

Ben Roberts inquired about support on 2015-08-12 [2] and the response was positive and indicated that it was "on the roadmap"

API

Ello has not announced an official API yet, but it appears there is one. Unofficial documentation: https://gist.github.com/conatus/cc665f917d5558c123bc

POSSE to Ello

There doesn't appear to be a way to automatically POSSE to Ello.

Jon Pincus

Jon Pincus has manually POSSE'd a reply from his site (running Known) to Ello:

If you initially create a status update on Known, you can add the ello link by clicking on *Reply to a site*. If instead you create a post (in which the headline will be used for the tweet) you'll need to edit your known post to include the link to ello. Here's an example; I put this HTML is at the top of the reply

<div class="reply-text" style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-size: 15px; 
                      line-height: 24.6399993896484px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">
 <p style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em !important;">
 <span class="icon-reply"></span> 
 Replied to 
 <a href="https://ello.co/womenwhotech/post/08obTue-ISU3v4pGh7szsw" rel="in-reply-to" 
               class="u-in-reply-to">a post on <strong>ello.co</strong> </a>
 </p>
 </div>
 

Prominent Accounts

The following accounts are interesting for their content, commentary, or authorship:

Design

The following praiseworthy design aspects of Ello are worth noting and further analysis / reverse engineering for indieweb designs.

Fairly Effective Use of Whitespace

Once past the landing page, Ello opts for a completely blank, white canvas upon which their users' content is placed. Individual posts are set off from other posts and page content only by effective use of whitespace, rather than background-colors, lines, or flashy ui.

Large Photo Display

View https://ello.co/thomashawk zoomed out on a cinema display and see how well the photos scale. Though they could perhaps even do better going full bleed with the images. Thomas blogged about this on his own site:

Plumbing

It appears that Ello is run on Heroku. This was discovered by accidentally opening http://ello.co. (note the trailing period) and seeing a "Heroku: No such app" error message.

Funding

Criticism

Unsustainable VC Funding

See criticism on this theme written up by Andy Baio on Ello itself:

Exit notes of Aral Balkan

Ugly Permalink URLs

See above ^^^ (ello.co/username/post/gibberish-line-noise-hex)

  • not sure this is really fair, there has been no criticism of twitter on this when it uses only numbers instead of numbers and letters. Ben Roberts 11:57, 12 August 2015 (PDT)

Desktop centric

"Don't try using it on mobile, very desktop centric" - Kevin Marks[3]

No permalinks for comments

There's no way to link to a comment, e.g. Jon Pincus's first comment here https://ello.co/cshirky/post/a99yZmd6ZPMwM5Yatk0rRQ which he manually POSSE'd from his own site: http://stream.tapestrymaker.net/2014/cshirky-good-points-is-it-possible-to-provide-flow-when

No rel-me support

There's apparently no way to enter your own personal site into your profile and have ello link back to it with rel-me. [4]

No Official API

See API.

No Export

No way to export your content / data. [5]

"backup tools will likely be a paid feature. Though right now, just add .json to your url and you get your post data" https://twitter.com/cacheflowe/status/525328915653722113

Related thread:

  • https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8498893
    Facebook's statement: "Trust us. We'll show you ads."
    App.net's statement: "Trust us. We'll charge you so you don't have to see ads."
    Ello's statement: "Trust us, we won't show you ads."
    The statement we deserve is akin to email's promise: you don't have to trust us; competing providers keep the ecosystem honest.

Back/Forward Buttons

Ello seems to add extra things in the history and makes the browser navigation buttons act strangely, at least in Firefox.

Unreadable Font

Monospace font on Ello

Ugly monospaced-font, with small font-size makes it hard to read. Font declaration in Firefox reads "AtlasTypewriterRegular","Andale Mono","Consolas","Lucida Console","Menlo","Luxi Mono",monospace -- Kartik

Errors and Downtime

On 2014-10-03 I noticed the main Ello interface seemed to stop working. Clicking a note permalink or comments icon did nothing. When I tried to view the profile directly, this error message was displayed. The errors did not appear to persist for more than 30 seconds, though. — gRegor Morrill

ello-downtime-2014-10-03.jpg

Applied for patents

Self-description

Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers. We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use. About

See Also

Retrieved from "http://indieweb.org/Ello"
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