Aug. 18th, 2016 07:53 pm
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)
[personal profile] liv
So Imzy is the new cool social network, apparently. It's in closed beta and you need an invite from an existing user to create an account. [personal profile] melannen kindly offered one, and I'm happy to pay it forward by inviting the first five people to comment.

It seems to be aspiring to be a kind of cross between Tumblr and LJ/DW. On the plus side: you can have multiple usernames, and it claims it will never reveal the connection between different usernames. It has reasonably good fine-grained privacy settings, and it says it will contact users before revealing any personal information to law enforcement. And it has tools for blocking and banning people, though I've not investigated them in detail. These are good ideas in principle but I'm a bit skeptical, I want to wait and see if their actual security is as good as their ideals. Still, the multi identity thing could be a major draw.

It's apparently based around communities, though lots of people are creating single-person communities to act as personal blogs. It seems to have pretty good tools for encouraging conversation; by default you can comment on and / or follow posts. It does seem to manage the bare minimum of providing a chronological feed of everything that you've subscribed to, with the ability to filter, rather than having algorithms try to guess what you might find "important". At the moment it's not possible to post public at all; the lowest privacy level is that posts are visible to logged in users, but I believe making it readable without logging in is going to be an option (but probably not the default) in the future.

The site is being run by people with some experience, mostly it seems from Reddit. And it has a certain amount of investment behind it, so hopefully it's not going to just fall over as soon as it gets popular. But equally it needs to offer investors a return and right now its business plan seems basically non-existent. There is no advertising, which is good, but there's also no premium service; instead, they have a system whereby users can offer eachother "tips" (minimum payment $1), and they suggest that people add 10% "to cover site costs" when topping up their tipping accounts. I am very very suspicious of this, because places that have no sensible income stream end up either dying or getting eaten up by Google and Facebook, or at best becoming total sleaze fests. Also, if people are able to make money from "tips", then rights holders are going to get very interested in anyone reposting anything that might even slightly be copyright. And of course scammers and manipulators are going to be attracted, but that's a problem with basically all sites.

Aesthetically, it's a mess. Very cutting edge with everything grey on white. Infinite scrolling pages only. They're "working on" mobile apps, but it seems to be more or less readable on a smartphone. It's terribly terribly cutesie, which is at least better than the horrible hipster thing that was Ello. (Anyone remember Ello?) Posts are formatted with Markdown rather than HTML, and posting images and links is as easy as on modern sites like Tumblr or FB. The site communication style is very cutesie as well; I remember some people were put off DW because [staff profile] denise tends to write quite personally rather than sounding like a distant, objective professional, but Imzy is a hundred times worse. So either sexism will kill the site, or it'll massively attract the kind of people who are very into childish-sounding, very enthusiastic, marketing copy pretending to be human kind of stuff; that does seem to be a successful branding approach these days.

I personally don't think it's the right place for the future of fandom, because of the copyright issues and because it bans "porn". So it still has many disadvantages compared to DW, but the novelty value might just make it the next big thing.
ETA: I created a community for DW peeps. Which magically increased my number of invitations from five to 200, so if anyone is possibly interested in an invite, you can request at the community link. And if anyone's already there, feel free to join it or not.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-18 08:35 pm (UTC)
slashmarks: (Leo)
From: [personal profile] slashmarks

It will be interesting -- in a morbid sort of way -- to see how the tip thing ends up interacting with fandom if they get any significant number of users there. A lot of the very youngest generation of fans doesn't seem to be quite familiar with the fact that asking for money for fan works can land you in serious legal trouble, probably thanks to the smaller number of authors crusading against them lately. I've been waiting resignedly to see that explode for a while.

I was interested in giving it a try, all faults included, up until you said it bans porn. -wry- My corner of fandom definitely won't be migrating there if that doesn't change.

(In seriousness, I think it's a kind of alarming policy for reasons that strikethrough and etc on lj demonstrated. One type of censorship almost invariably ends up extended to new places, and a wide range of material can be construed to be "porn" as desired. It might be that they just haven't thought it out, but...)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-20 02:50 pm (UTC)
sally_maria: Daniel Jackson looking sideways (Default)
From: [personal profile] sally_maria
I don't know if you've seen this thread at the Fail Fandom Anon community?

We will obviously have to see, but I think that quite apart from the payment issues, they are aware of the issues Reddit had, and are trying to design them out as much as possible.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-18 08:50 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Eagle)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
Could I have an invite, please?

(Not sure whether I'll use the site, but I'm curious.)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-18 09:56 pm (UTC)
emperor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emperor
I'm interested if you have a spare invite code, but I can't see why this will take off when e.g. diaspora hasn't. I mean, I don't see what their USP is...

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-18 10:26 pm (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
I'd be interested in a poke around if you have a spare invite.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-19 04:43 pm (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
Thanks :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-18 11:20 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-19 02:48 am (UTC)
solitarywalker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] solitarywalker
I haven't heard of this site, but I agree with your scepticism about their business model, especially for blogging. I think in order for it to work, they would need "stars"; friends wouldn't tip back and forth the way they exchange likes since there's an actual cost. Websites that charge for subscriptions usually do so by offering the perk of no advertising; if there's no advertising for anyone, regardless of whether you tip, what does the consumer get by tipping? & If you're a content-producer who's so good that people will tip your posts, you probably can do better by publishing under a traditional business model.

10% is a very small percentage for the site to keep, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-25 12:10 am (UTC)
solitarywalker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] solitarywalker
I'd missed that it was voluntary. I've seen that done in software bundling sales (buyer chooses what % goes to the developers and what % to the site), but I don't know how successful it was. There was a default amount to the site, which seemed reasonable.

DW's model is very user-friendly; I'm surprised that it works, but it seems to. (LJ had the same model at one time, but I guess it didn't pay well enough for them, despite a very large userbase.)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-25 06:38 pm (UTC)
lovingboth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lovingboth
I suspect that most people leave the sliders at Humble Bundle etc alone.

If there are Linux versions of what I'm getting, I up the donation to the site and zero to the charity. If they don't, it's all to charity...

(Request made to the community as

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-19 08:55 am (UTC)
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
That is interesting. It sounds like they have a front-end working pretty well.

I'm not convinced by small-scale tipping, but it *could* work if you have some big names. Although even then, people don't make small payments much, even if they'd be happy to. I think trying "something other than advertising" is a good thing to try, because I think on fairly insular social media sites, advertising will only dwindle. But I'd rather they just asked for fees or something.

I've said before, I really want a distributed social network (like usenet with friendslock), so it _can't_ be imploded by investors. But that may never happen. So maybe this is more secure than tumblr? But no evidence if it will last long.

I'm mildly curious, but will probably wait and see if it goes anywhere before wanting to try it.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-20 04:14 pm (UTC)
sally_maria: Daniel Jackson looking sideways (Default)
From: [personal profile] sally_maria
I do understand the concern about funding going forward, it's a real issue, but I can't help hoping it or something like it does take off.

Tumblr has never worked for me, I miss the ability to have community discussions too much, but something which had that and the ability to easily post links and photos in the way that people have got used to from Tumblr and Facebook might actually lure them away from it in a way that Dreamwidth sadly never did.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-20 09:40 pm (UTC)
monanotlisa: Diana as Diana Prince in glasses and a hat, lifting the rim of the latter rakishly. HOT! (Default)
From: [personal profile] monanotlisa
Oh! Could I have one?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-21 12:19 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
This probably means I won't need to do much with Imzy, since it seems likely to not attract me to itself. Thank you for the writeup, though - I like informed perspective more than just seeing people say it's a thing.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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