Frightening news yesterday from Patrick Rhone, and the subsequent reaction to it, drove it home for me: community.
Not networking. Not celebrity news. Not SEO tips, or unique visitors or page views. Certainly not funny videos about cats.
But instead a genuine sense of community. I think we all want a place where friends can support us when a loved one is sick, or share with us things that inspire them. And by “friends”, I mean real people with common interests, not car dealerships or mayonnaise manufacturers.
Yesterday, as Patrick wrote about an intensely personal matter on App.net, it was heart-warming to watch as the service veritably lit up with support for him and his family. Given my increasingly jaded attitude toward Twitter, witnessing such an outpouring of kind-hearted care was a source of utter fascination and encouragement for me and, as evidenced by Mr. Gowan’s post, others too.
Whether or not you believe in App.net as an alternative to Twitter — or even view Twitter as a misguided entity whatsoever — it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the affability of the fledgling community within App.net.
Existing as a bastion of thoughtful individuals (and yacht owners), App.net continues to make a thoroughly compelling case for itself. Barring any egregious failures in the immediate future, I’m beginning to feel very positive for the sanctity of the service as a long-term entity in the real-time Internet environment.
Given Twitter’s flagging status, App.net’s arrival and establishment as such could not have arrived at a better time.