Ello?

“Simple, beautiful, and ad-free.”

ello

Have you heard of this new social media site? Ello is supposed to be the “Facebook killer.” Its purpose seems to be creating a public space online for users to interact and share status updates, photos, and information with each other, but without the one thing nearly all social media sites have and everyone hates- ads.

Ello’s is proud of its “manifesto”- an anti-ad, anti-product mission statement of theirs. It wants users to break free of the holds today’s technology and consumerism in the form of tracking cookies and marketing trends and flashy advertising has over them.

Personally, I think it’s annoying when websites are plagued with advertisements, and even a bit skeptical (read: creeped out) by ads showing me products related to my Google searches. There are arguments out there that state advertising has gone too far, that it’s becoming too intrusive. Especially on sites like Facebook, where a great population of people and consumers are.

But will enough users make the transition from Facebook to this new site?

Ello is currently in Beta mode, and is “invite-only.” While not just anyone can create an account yet, certain public profiles are visible. They are, of course, pretty empty, as there is no interaction (yet, I guess.)

My first impression? It’s cold. It’s gray. It’s a “manifesto,” which seems to me a word much too strong for a new social media site. I did request an invitation to check it out, but I won’t be offended if it doesn’t arrive.

manifesto

What do you think? Will you go Ello?

Intertextuality

- Or Fandom and Separation Between Fans and Creators -

Fair Warning: This post is sort of Tangentially Related to an article called  I Know What You Did Last Summer: Sarah Michelle Gellar and Crossover Teen Stardom. I’m going to be talking about trends in fandom and also advertising. 

Many of these posts…say nothing about the fans’ preference for seeing stars, such as Gellar, on film versus television, and instead focus on the star as a text unto itself.

-Susan Murray, I Know What You Did Last Summer

In Murray’s essay, she examines how, using the popularity of Buffy, advertisers for films, television shows, and other products of the 1990′s and early 2000′s use the fame of an actor or actress to draw fans from one show to another, with the entry point being the star. The actress, in this case, Sarah Michelle Gellar, is the ‘entry text’ to a new series, item, or movies. I have experienced this advertising method many a time, as it is, in fact, how I rediscovered Whedon (I was on a Neil Patrick Harris kick at the time).

Something that I found interesting, was how the essay refers to Sarah Michelle Gellar as a ‘text’ – a way to read into new franchises, brands, and media, through a person’s physicality and attachment to a role on a television series. I tend to think of texts as…well, written objects, not entry points or, stranger still, people, that allow a person to connect a show, like Buffy, to a movie, like I Know What You Did Last Summer, to a brand like Maybelline.

Advertising normally feels like a shady business to me,  but using someone’s intertextuality, their connection to a single popular character to boost the ratings and/or profit margins of other companies and films seems extra shady to me. If they are doing what Murray suggests, and treating actors like ‘texts’ it seems to work. The girl, Katy, who Murray is using as an example in the quotes, has seen almost everything Gellar has been in (up until the point that post was written), but it seems…wrong. It seems like you lose sight of the person behind the character, and they just become an idol, a text of entry, a thing to be read into.