Dear Internet friends,

What would we do without you? You’re like lighthouses guiding our way across the fuzzy digital sea. In a room of voices, we happened to hear yours. A link, a warm idea, a staticky Markov joke confirmed we were playing on the same team. After months, in some cases years, we’ve built up such a strong network. We depend on it.

But what happens when the services we use to stick together fall apart, as they inevitably do? Won’t you miss Google Reader? Aren’t you sad that Instagram sold our moments to Facebook? Aren’t you worried about Twitter’s mad rush to turn tweets into auto-playing video commercials?

We are. That’s one reason we joined App.net. And now that it’s free to participate, we hope you’ll join us.

https://join.app.net/from/ablaze

What's the point?

App.net is infrastructure for a social web that its users and makers control. Your account lets you authenticate into any application a developer can dream up for the service, and it can store all the messages, media, and data you create.

For example, if you don’t like the way a photo app is going, you can just switch apps and bring all your photos with you. And App.net has a backbone of a Twitter-like social graph, so your relationships come with you, too.

But there’s no advertising. You choose your applications. You own your data. You can follow some people, post messages, and store some data with a free account, and paying ADN boosts your following and storage allowances. It’s like Dropbox, Flickr, or Evernote. The relationships and the stuff belong to you, and the service just makes your applications work.

We’re not App.net members just to replace Twitter for some ideological reason. We’re members so we can try out new ways of managing our thousands of digital photos without having to do some huge migration every time we switch. We’re members so we can meet collaborators — the same way we met you — and move with one click into a private chat room where we can plan, work, and share project files, all on one service.

There are so many cool apps already, and it’s just getting started. And if there’s something else you want to see built, you’re in the middle of a community that can help make it happen.

What do we do now?

Oh, what are we working on? Well.

We’re sharing stuff we’re reading and writing. We set up our @reading bots over there. We’re posting snap insights and observations, just like we do on Twitter, but with a little more writing room and a smaller but more excited community. We’re also thinking and talking about new possibilities for publishing over a network like this, and some of the first experiments are about to begin.

The last critical ingredient we need is you. Come join App.net and get in on this jam session. We’re not leaving Twitter (yet). That’s still where the global conversation is. But there’s a whole different thing happening on ADN, and it’s well worth it to spend time in both.

So here’s a link with 100 invitations. First come, first served. I bet we can even rustle up some more if this link runs out.

https://join.app.net/from/ablaze

We hope to see you on ADN soon.

In our typical sincerity,
Jon (@ablaze) and Rob (@yay)