Image Credit: Watercolor 2012, by @laura_d.
There's been a lot of back and forth the last couple of weeks about Ello, the new social network. Is it the privacy-protecting answer to Facebook? Is it sold out before it even launches? Is the design pretty or ugly? Is its klunky handling of text in beta reflective of its basic personality or is this something that's going to be worked out as new features launch?
Good questions, all, and we'll know the answers in due time. For the moment, though, I want to spend a few minutes orienting those among you who have chosen to explore Ello, or who are perhaps thinking about it. Truth is, it's still hard to find people. Actually, let me put it another way - it's hard to find specific people using their search. They have a search function, but it doesn't allow you to find your friends, so right now that has to be accomplished offline.
Still, one of the best things about Ello is that it's not Facebook - it isn't (so far) about talking to your friends. It's a serendipity engine - in other words, it's a remarkable place to find cool and talented people you might not come across otherwise.
So, to that end, if you're on Ello, or are thinking of joining, here are some people you might want to investigate and possibly follow.
First, a couple folks I know outside of Ello:
@docdenny is god of macro photography, and lately he’s been experimenting with some new toys and techniques that visually bridge the space between photography and painting.
My boy @sirpaulsbuddy is fighting the good fight for writers. We've noted elsewhere that Ello is great for visual artists and shooters but its feature set hasn't yet built around in ways that drive conversation and writing. He's plowing ahead anyway and is making Ello a more literate place every time he logs in.
One of my very favorite artists on Ello is @laura_d. Her charcoals are dynamic and compelling and her watercolors ... they're lovely, and maybe deceptively so, because underneath the surface of each one I think there's an edgy charcoal trying to claw its way out. Wonderful tension.
@lionroar is like me – working for the man and taking pictures of the world around him in his spare time. In his case, that world is NYC, and he also writes about it all, as well. Insightful guy, worth a look.
@tranwills – just fucking oozes style.
Visual artist @catherineharms loves color as much as I do, and she does wonderful things with it.
@mcdavid radiates a vibrant street energy. I really like that microphone series and I nearly fell out of the chair when I got to the Ted Danson piece.
@victorbezrukov is a photographer, and a damned fine one. His people shots are just superb, and if you aren’t a shooter you may not fully realize just how difficult an art that is.
@carlosbob is another color-loving visual artist. Whatever you do, don’t stop scrolling until you get to "Unfortunate Collision of Gum Balls and Adolescence."
@drshelley has one of those pages where you’re not quite sure what’s coming next. Sort of an aesthetically informed culture gateway, and since one of Ello’s great values so far is serendipity generation….
@lueblue Diary of an Icelandic horse.
@graphiteshutter More fantastic photography, with a pulsing street edge to it.
@samwanvig lives in South Africa and takes wonderful pictures. Just seriously wonderful, and lots of them.
I like how @neil’s photography challenges the sunlight. And his structural stuff is a study in interesting geometries.
Is it half empty or half full? @mimiwolske
There’s a lot of great design and art on Ello, but @larossa is going further, encouraging us to think about the work and also about how we relate to the online world.
@matthaagmusic – fun, textural, atmospheric – be sure to check out the clips on his YouTube page.
I love design – as a young writer I never understood how critical great design was to my words. If the design sucked, no one was ever going to read them. So now I’m the most design-obsessed writer my co-workers have ever met, and I value designers whose work stops me and gets my brain to focusing and exploring new ideas. All of which is to say, check out @erichurtgen.
And since I’m trying to learn more about design, yes I’m definitely following @kidkyote, who’s a design professor. That Skyline Hotel shot is, in fact, breathtaking.
Been having some great exchanges with @carocrow, who’s just a really cool person of the sort I’m enjoying meeting on Ello.
When I first posted this list over on Ello, I got some feedback from a follower asking what, no love for @wordslinger? Absolutely. We should prop those who are exploring how words work in this new community. So by all means.
Loving some of the shots that @mayra has up.
@andreali is introducing me to some artists I have never encountered before, and they’re remarkable.
Still trying to sort the gestalt of @evah – a very cool popart aesthetic at work, and a treat for the eyeballs.
Not only is @anna pointing us at some interesting content (the Dzimirsky photo just stopped me in my tracks) she’s also part of the team making Ello possible. Many thanks – we love you.
How do you feel about tech house and deep house? Give @jeff_with_a_j a listen (SoundCloud link on his page).
I really know almost nothing about fashion, but it’s design, and even if I don’t yet grok the nuance of what I’m seeing, I know what attracts me. So @lawnparty is a must-follow. Also, she’s in Boulder, and we fucking love Boulder.
@breethomas is also an interesting follow – the ethic is more street right now, I think, and a bit of tension in your feed is a great thing.
Another Boulderite - @el-theartist – really talented artist. I love the eyes in that piece at the top of the feed right now.
Finally, @_f7 is another great gateway follow.
If you make it over, feel free to stop by my page, too. I'm @doc.
So there, that's far from a complete list of interesting people on Ello, but if you're interested in checking the place out, this list will provide you with an idea of what the landscape is like right now.