in Personal Clouds

App.Net as a proto personal cloud service and VRM accelerator

Core Values

Take a look at ADN’s core values. The first two are: #

  • We are selling our product, NOT our users.
  • You own your content.
Right off the top, these values set ADN apart from services like Google, Twitter and Facebook, whose motives are more aligned with advertisers than with users. #

Privacy and Terms

Read the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy. Go ahead. Here’s the thing: you can actually read them. They’re short, written in straightforward language, and they’re kept in a GitHub repository so you can suggest changes. The terms aren’t perfect, but they’re not bad and on the whole they’re user-friendly. #

Sounds like a personal cloud to me

ADN has defined a File API that allows each user free access to 20 GB of disk space for storing images, documents, or any other type of file. (The company has hinted that more storage may eventually be available for a price.) The benefit of storing your files on ADN is that you can allow them to be accessed by any service using the ADN API (what Lou Franco calls BYOBE, or Bring-Your-Own-Back-End). #

Your data is your data

In addition to porting files from service to service, ADN allows all of your data to move freely via its API. That means your messages, your list of followers and who you follow, your list of interactions, and anything else that ADN stores can be reused by any app using the ADN API. Or, you can export your data and social graph and take them to another service. #

Expressing intent with ADN

Project Llama wants to expand ADN’s annotations so that users can tag their accounts with keywords that describe themselves and what they’re looking for. So, for instance, I might tag myself as a “hockey fan” who is looking for “Tampa Bay Lightning tickets”. I don’t think Project Llama is thinking of itself as building a VRM-type expression of intent, but it’s not to hard to see how it could become one. #

Straight from the horse’s mouth

Here are some recent podcasts where Dalton goes into detail about what he thinks ADN is: #

A big but…

My argument is not that is a true VRM service or even a true personal cloud. For one thing, isn’t focused on enabling relationships with vendors outside of the ADN universe. For another, currently is just a another silo. A true personal cloud service would be agnostic about where files or graphs are stored. #