A long, long time ago on an iPhone that’s never too far away a man named Dalton Caldwell startled the geekosphere with an audacious proposal that lamented how ad agencies disguised as social networks were ruining the socialverse.

Like any self respected geek I read his proposal, wished him luck and went along my merry way as I had other vanity concerns to deal with which included:

  • Why Twitter only displayed the last 3200 tweets
  • Why Facebook started prostituting my name with pseudo endorsements ads
  • Why Google+ (a social network that I loved) wouldn’t allow me to change my username from 107553987488096350949 to Darnell or DarnellClayton (to make it easier for friends to find!)

Fast forward a month (or was it two?) and my social vanity scenario was:

  • Twitter still did not provide archive access (**note:** Twitter provided access later on in December of 2012, but only through your computer)
  • Facebook refused to provide an opt out for “Sponsored Ads” so I refused to use their service
  • Discovered that Google+ would only verify profiles of celebrities and people they deemed important

I quickly realized that while social networks are often built with excellence, many seemed to ignore creating certain options or features sought out by their beloved masses.

As an individual I was nothing more than a stone in the sand to the social overlords; I was part of the scenery but not deemed worthy enough to offer valuable input to make “paradise” better.

Dissatisfied with my current scenario, I finally decided to give App.net a try due to 2 reasons:

  • The price was reduced from $50/year to $36/year or $5/month (which justified signing up) and…
  • The @Darnell username was available! 🙂

One month turned into 10 months and as my first year of App.net (or ADN as it’s referred to by many) approaches I’ve been reflecting on why I stay.

While I find App.net digital culture much more conversational compared to other places, the main reason I stay is because App.net values the input of their members.

Whether it’s profile verification, 2 factor security (to help keep hackers at bay) or expanding the character count, the App.net team is responsive towards requests from members and über geeks (aka developers).

App.net also doesn’t become jealous of developers providing a superior experience (quite the opposite), so I do not have to worry about an app’s future performance suffering due to jealousy from corporate overlords.

Although I will not be giving up other social networks, App.net has become “a new hope” in the socialverse and my guarantee that if ad wars between Twitter, Google, and Facebook take a turn for the worse (which is very possible if the world enters another recession) that I’ll at least have one place online where I can express my views digitally.