Whatever they are called ...
- social media
- social networks
- forums / message boards
- community blogs
... these sites accept user-generated content, and most likely, these sites host discussions on that content.
Here's a fine comment in this thread with my emphasis added:
Ello needs more posts - especially more posts that are your own. Photos, artwork, writing, whatever.
My least-vfavorite thing about looking at FB is all the click bait garbage that everyone
If you don't have something original to post, you should think about why you're wasting everyone's time reposting the latest grumpy cat meme, or whatever.
The focus should be on the users, the content, and the discussions. Does a wad of fancy software features make that happen, or can fewer features combined with a simple user interface work best?
The flip-side argument could be that without a lot of fancy features, users won't be attracted to the site to produce content for others to read.
Ello will resolve its UI/UX issues over time. But hopefully, they don't add too many "normal" social networking "features" that could make the interface and experience worse.
Are these features necessary?
- share/forward a post
- like/favorite a post
The lo-fi cut-and-paste activity works. It requires a bit more effort, but that could be a positive. Maybe people "like" or "share" too much crap because it's easy to do.
Cut-and-paste could be a slight barrier that encourages people only to share things that are worth the extra seconds to cut-and-paste.
Having fewer of the so-called normal social networking features may require users to create content. Fewer software features could be a feature.
I think The Well charged users $100 a year. The Well contained a lot of interesting discussions. It was a home to writers, artists, technologist, thinkers, etc. It required real names though.
The Well could probably work today. Actually, it still exist. The Well probably fizzled in the aughts because of Live Journal, Blogger, MySpace, Typepad, Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
But maybe users in 2014 are worn out from complex systems with a ton of features along with data mining for targeted ads. Maybe a small segment of the population yearns for a simpler interface and experience with more interesting discussions.
This could be why the message board will always exist. Content and discussions on that content.
Reddit and MetaFilter seem to be doing okay, especially the former. But I prefer MeFi's topics and discussions. These sites are a different take on the traditional message board.
- Wired.com - 1997 - The Epic Saga of The Well
Designing websites for readers and writers - Mar 24, 2015
Online Communities - Jan 15, 2014
Design by Writing - Apr 03, 2016
Allowing or disallowing comments on blogs - Apr 13, 2014
January 2013 articles about commenting systems - Jan 15, 2014