The Web: App.net Goes Freemium…

App.net_logo

I’ve been curious about App.net since it’s inception. When it was announced it made quite the splash!

Ok So What Is It?

For those who don’t know, App.net is an alternative to Twitter (a service that’s made some questionable changes of late), that’s subscription-based, ad-free and, up until now, somewhat of a “gated” community.

The subscription format, while keeping them afloat, also crippled the much-needed adoption that the service needed to continue (speculation of course, but at the end of the day you need people to, you know, actually use your service).  Well, that all changed today when they added the long-awaited “free tier” to their account offerings.

But I Like Twitter. Are there many differences between the two services?

Thankfully, to the average Twitter user, no.  After all, to compete with Twitter you wouldn’t want to reinvent the wheel and luckily they don’t. So don’t worry, the usual ingredients are here: posts (like tweets, only with a 256 character limit), replies, favoriting, reposts (identical to retweets), the developers/API’s aren’t beholden to anyone and there are no limits to development on their platform.  Also, and this pretty important: they will never sell your personal data, content, feed, interests, clicks, or anything else to advertisers.

They also have a veritable army of apps for phones, tablets and pretty much every desktop OS out there.

Ok, so if I get an account, what do I get?

The free account gets you the following:

  • Free tier accounts can follow a maximum of 40 users
  • Free tier accounts have 500 MB of available file storage
  • Free tier accounts can upload a file with a maximum size of 10 MB

Yes, it’s limited, but for a lot of people (myself included) this all they will ever want out of the service at first. Let me kick the tires a little, give it a test drive and if the service is worth the time and I need the premium options being sold, of course I’ll subscribe. But I am glad I don’t have to, just to simply get through the door.

So I know they took a good bit to get this point, but as far as I can tell, the wait was worth it.  I’ll give a follow-up to this post after I’ve used the service for a few weeks, but I can already tell you this now, if they can get the buy in?  Just from the very brief usage, I can tell that Twitter will have a viable competitor on its hands.  

And really, at the end of the day? If all else fails, having a good competitor might make Twitter that much better. Everyone wins when these news service rise and compete.

All right I am IN! Where do I get a free account?!

As of today you can only get a free account via and invite from an existing subscribed user. I personally got mine by logging into Twitter (oh the irony) and searching for “app.net”.  That brought up a TON of people offering invites!  

So go get ’em folks! Check out the service and find out what all the hubbub is about!

The Web: ThisIsMyJam.com

In the hopes of mixing things up in this space, I plan on putting up some “What I Like” posts that will talk about anything and everything that I am currently enjoying quite a bit. Think of them as one shot reviews of things, services, web sites, gadgets, books, beer, hiking gear, tea/coffee, movies, really anything! These types of post are aimed at being a snapshot of what ever is striking my fancy at the moment.

In the end, my hope for these posts is to bring your attention to something that maybe you have never seen before that I hope you would enjoy (like I do).

So! Shall we? Yes? Sweet!

Today’s Topic: is a little gem of a social web service called “This is My Jam”. It’s a relatively new web site (it’s still in beta actually), but it started getting wider adoption at the beginning of this year.

This Is My Jam

What’s it Do?: it allows you to choose a song as your “jam” and it posts the tune up for the world to see (and your followers) for as long as 7 days before it asks you to choose another one. It also allows you to display your curated picks on Twitter and Facebook, if you like. The final icing on the cake? You can also listen to a stream of your followers selected “jams” as well!

I particularly like this feature because when your friends or like-minded followers create a playlist for you, it affords all kinds of fun and surprising music possibilities! It’s eclectic, engaging and, most importantly, fun!

Ok, but how easy is it to use?:

  1. Log into the site at thisismyjam.com
  2. Search for and pick a song to share. Preview it if you’d like.
  3. Write a quick blurb about the song and why you chose it (this is optional).
  4. Post it.

The Verdict:

That’s it! It’s an über simple service and I think it’s simplicity is it’s greatest strength. It serves only one purpose: to help you share your favorite tunes with the world.

But even the simplest ideas can fall flat if the implementation is poorly thought out or awkward. Thankfully, the folks behind TIMJ made the user experience and interface clean, simple and nice to look at (always a bonus). It also takes very little time to use (the last thing you or I need is another social network taking up your time).

In a world of bloated and complicated everything-and-the-kitchen-sink web-based services, it’s nice to see one that has taken a simple idea and implemented it so well.

As I said before, it’s still in it’s fledgling stages and while plenty of people use it, I wouldn’t say it’s thoroughly caught fire yet. But regardless, check it out, sign up, create an account and invite your friends! You’ll be sharing AND discovering new music in no time, I promise!

One con? I do wish they had a mobile app, but I don’t think that’s not a deal-breaker. The best picked tunes are the ones you are sitting down and listening to anyways.

So that’s it. If you like it, drop me a line on Twitter (the “follow” link is above in the header if you feel so inclined). Honestly, if you are music lover, I can’t imagine you being let down.

Here’s my TIMJ link: http://www.thisismyjam.com/thaddeushunt

Enjoy!

Tad