A few new online services popped up recently — loaded with plenty of hyperbole — that seem to indicate a move towards more control over public stuff online. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and its great to see it showing up in the public sphere.
First up is Branch, “A new way to talk to each other”. At first glance it is something like a semi-private (invite only) hosted discussion board. Control over participation. I found it especially interesting that “go beyond 140 characters” is touted as a feature — it’s funny what arbitrary restrictions will do to your perception.
App.net provides a semblance of control over development trajectory. It is billed as “a real time social feed without the ads”. Will a Twitter clone paid for by developers be better for developers that Twitter has been recently?
Medium is “rethinking publishing and building a new platform from scratch”. It comes across as a something of a blogging platform, but rather than being organised by time, posts are organised in ‘collections’. A hosted blogging service with control over organisation?
Looks like a trend to me…