Ello, Facebook, and peeing in the pool of Social Media

I lost interest in Facebook a year ago when it no longer held a compelling conversation.

If LinkedIn was a real thing, it would be akin to being at a dinner party held in the same room as a networking event, and a trade show.  I am ready to grab my coat and find a pub most of the time, if you are still following the analogy.


I have signed up for Ello just to understand how people are using it. I am as curious as everyone else is.

I feel Ello was probably made by a bunch of people who said, “let’s throw a NEW dinner party, and NOT do that thing we did last time”. Right now it looks like Tumblr and Myspace might have bumped uglies a while back and have been hiding the kid from us.

We are going to probably keep doing that thing though. We left friendster, and myspace, and foursquare. We are leaving Facebook. We have a communications history littered with lost civilizations. Profiles left unattended for years. Passwords have been forgotten from our “something funny” number sign @ hotmail or AOL accounts.

We like to talk about our migration and it being because the various platforms were antiquated, people were frustrated, and young, seasoned developers created new things for us.

So we left, in droves, and abandoned half finished experiments along the way, in search of social media nirvana. I don’t know what people are actually wanting more; digital connection with society, or a zoo to witness and interact with on a whim.

Leaving is only part of the phenomenon though.


It’s the garbage that we create and live with until we no longer enjoy it that I am most amazed by. In every case we have lowered the bar for quality, well before people actual started looking for something “better”. We do and allow things in our “social media” spaces that we would never do or allow in real life. We see other people doing it, and we do it some more. I found that we no longer set a bar for quality, and I didn’t matter what was being posted.

I believe in freedom of speech. I also believe in quality of speech. These are our communities and we are fine with posting crap and being subjected to it with no push back, we just bail instead.

I don’t feel bad for Facebook or miss myspace, and while I am excited for Ello, it’s a slightly morbid curiosity driving that.

Community Curation and Support

You may read this and think I am a naysayer for social media. This is simply not true. Video didn’t kill the radio star, her fans did though. In contrast, I witness people on Instagram doing something unique. People are putting up interesting content, and taking better photos, which drive others to also take better photos and share interesting content. The quality of the images that are on Instagram are pretty impressive and it’s primarily non-professionals. It could be due to the simple nature of the application. It appears to be of limited function. Take a picture or video, throw a filter on it, add a comment, a few hashtags that allow others to find your post, and you’re done!

I am not convinced we will ever use hashtags properly. I witnessed someone on LinkedIn using one in a post which was strange as that is not a feature (currently). What makes the community using Instagram special is that people are genuinely putting more effort and originality in their posts. The content is better which translates to an actual conversation, and a good one some of the time. For now, and for the most part, we are treating this space thoughtfully and making compelling content.


I am interested to see how Ello will be treated by us.



Chris Gostling is an award winning Creative Director & CEO of Momentum Visual Inc., a Toronto based strategic marketing firm.
Chris & Momentum Visual have driven creative marketing strategy and execution for client’s such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Aeroplan, Parmalat Canada, Hain Celestial Canada, Apotex, General Mills, Canadian Tire, and RBC. Beyond being an accredited graphic designer by trade, Chris is a public speaker on topics ranging from strategic thinking, creative presentation coaching, and how to build a successful and well-rounded design portfolio.
In 2009 Chris founded Small Change 4 Big Change. This charitable foundation facilitates dignified food experiences for Toronto’s at-risk and homeless youth. 


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