This post is still a reference to many brand-new App.net users who recently joined the community, so I decided to repost it here to keep all my references in a single place. But as I read it again, as time has passed, I believe to have more to offer in this particular scenario, so there will definitely be an update on this content soon.
Everyday new users join app.net and everyday they’re lost about it. “Ok, so it is just like Twitter? But I heard it was so different!”. You’re both right and wrong. On the surface, yes, ADN (which is how users often call the network, short for app(dot)net) is like Twitter, yet underneath the whole discussion about privacy, advertisement and support to developers, there’s one remarkable feature on app.net: people.
When was the last time you’ve made a friend on Twitter? Had a nice conversation? Twitter’s social interaction became as short as the tweets themselves over the years. Twitter became a place to follow specific brands and distribute content. ADN is all about the people.
Most of the time you’ll join ADN alone, for example, I had no friends when I did, but the community embraced me and after 12 days i’m glad for subscribing to the service. Thanks to its smaller community, ADN grants us with a viable Global feed, where you can get in touch with everything happening in the social network. After that you have the chance to join any conversation that pleases you, because it is like an open chat. Suddenly you’ll meet new people and exchange conversations everyday.
You may not notice, but only the existence of the Global feed breaks both pillars in which Twitter stands nowadays.
Following is not as useful as you might believe, because participating in the Global feed doesn’t require you to follow anybody. I do follow people I often talk to, but mostly in case I missed their updates at Global and there’s a high chance these users are in a conversation i’d appreciate being part of. As ADN is mostly about engaging into conversations, you’ll be using the panel for the specific conversation you’re linked into furthermore than any specific reference to find a conversation to jump in.
Then comes down the second pillar, which is content. Most users on ADN are checking Global, which means that if you post the link for a news article, there is a big chance someone else posted it previously. In Twitter, you’re locked on the people you follow and the content you read comes solely from them, this goes the other hand as the content you share is only seen by your followers and as people have a limited amount of follows, they might have missed the news article you just posted. Turns out it is fair to share repeated content on Twitter, but not on App.net.
The solution to that is not posting content at all, people are rarely interested. I won’t be drastic and tell you not to post links at all, you probably got into this article by a link posted on App.net and consequently on Global feed. But if you want a great tip about this: only link to your stuff.
App.net is a different environment and it must be preserved that way. If you get into it and decide to behave like it is a Twitter alternative, then the differences will fade away and we’ll lose a precious experience. I’ve selected a few guidelines to appreciate the app.net experience as soon as you join it. I hope it helps you find it entertaining.
Don’t get too excited trying to create topics:
Truth to be told, ADN is about engaging conversations, but not creating them right after you join. You may try, but don’t raise your expectations.
Engage into conversations:
That’s the whole secret of ADN, if you engage into conversations (and add something to them, of course) people will notice you and pay attention to you. Slowly you’ll be able to create topics and people will reply. It’s not that hard, really.
There are spambots and people cross-posting via buffer everywhere, these are the gremlins who deal with ADN as a rich-people Twitter, stay away from them. As i’ve said earlier, try hard to only link to your own content. We’re more interested in human beings than information.
But don’t abuse of advertising your own content:
A good thing is posting about that new blog post of yours, just don’t spam it. People will notice and silently mute you. It is noticeable that ADN has an aversion to automate resources such as IFTTT and Buffer which end up posting in the network. We prefer when you post from heart. This is a rule of thumb for the whole internet overall, if people didn’t reply you in the first attempt, they’ll rarely do in the second one.
If you have an iPhone, get your hands on Felix:
It’s the best client for iOS, simply unbeatable and worthy every penny. It’ll improve your experience drastically and make you spend even more time with your phone.
- Forget about your brand for a moment:
Even though you will find brands on ADN, it’s mostly people being people. If your brand is a backyard blog or a multinational company, we don’t care. We DO care about the knowledge and dedication you’re able to add to the conversations you engage.
This will help you out in the beginning, feel free to follow me or better: engage in a conversation I’m participating that you found through Global. I’m there all day, we’ll meet sooner or later.