Ello, Goodbye: Remembering Social Media Networks of the Past

You guys have heard of this new social media network called Ello, right? Over the past week or so, I kept seeing it on Facebook (ironically) and around the internetz, and still didn’t really understand what its deal was. For those of you who need the DL on Ello, it’s an invite-only social network that is kind of like Facebook, but without ads. My friend described the look of it as a “hipster Facebook”, with clean lines and simple design.

 

Now, I don’t know about you, but if you already hate Facebook, I’m guessing you don’t want to be on another social media site. Most of the people I know who quit FB or barely log on or don’t have an account at all hate that FB inundates you with all the details about your “friends” lives, so if Ello is supposed to be an alternative to FB, why would anyone sign up? Plus, it’s just another website to forget the correct user name/password combo. I get the whole curiosity of it all, so if you’re on Ello, let me know how it goes for you.

But also remember that since we live in a world where there are more social media networks than people in China (not an actual statistic), new startups have to be one-of-a-kind and standout in the crowd. Moreover, our generation of Millennials, while we aren’t exactly close-minded when it comes to new networks (we did have to figure out how the internet worked as tweens, after all), we are also selective as to what we decide to spend our time on. While time will only tell for Ello, let’s take a look at some other social media sites that have gone to the internet graveyard in the past few years.

MySpace

In Tom’s defense, MySpace was a big networking site for a long time. I admit, even I spent a little too long deciding what the theme to my profile page should be and who my top 8 were. But to me, MySpace always had a skeezy quality to it – like a prime breeding ground for Catfish. Not to mention the whole getting bombarded by singers and bands you didn’t know. Unfortunately for Tom, Mark Zuckerberg came along and stole all his thunder. Now MySpace is owned partly by Justin Timberlake and mostly used for what it always has been popular for – music.

Friendster

The only reason I ever had a Friendster account was because my cousins in the Philippines all had one. It was like their Facebook before Facebook, except more boring. The concept was the same – post pictures of yourself, write about your interests and hobbies, interact with friends, etc. etc. But when I talked to my friends back home in the U.S. about Friendster, no one knew what I was talking about. And there’s your problem right there. Friendster was shut down in 2011, but relaunched as a gaming site. It’s mainly popular in – you guessed it – Southeast Asia.

Xanga

Speaking of Asians, I first heard about Xanga from other Asians, except ones who were living in America. Xanga was not only a site that had a similar debate like the GIF/JIF debacle, but provided a social network with a blogging component. I remember using a lot of emoticons and tYpiNg OuT mY WorDz LykE This lolLLLzzzZ. Last year, Xanga rebooted itself and came out with Xanga 2.0, which is still a blogging webspace, but now you have to pay a fee to use it. You know homie don’t play that game.

Eons

Have you guys ever heard of Eons? Didn’t think so. It’s probably because it was a social network geared towards the elderly. That’s right, the same grandparents that can’t figure out texting let alone their remote control, were the primary demographic for the site. The site was launched in 2007, which in the grand scheme of things, was at the height of Facebook’s *ooh look it’s new and shiny* phase, so my guess is that a lot of people over 50 still didn’t get what all the hype over social media was about. If there’s anything we can learn from Eons, it’s know your demographic. Also, maybe pick a better name.

Orkut

Orkut was the social media site made by Google, and named after one of its employees, Orkut Büyükkökten (The guy who made Eons would’ve probs called this site Büyükkökten instead). Google built the site over a decade ago, but it never really took off – except in random countries like India and Brazil. Incidentally, Google officially shut down Orkut just two days ago on September 30th, but luckily for the site’s users, you have until 2016 to get your personal information and files back. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for AOL Hometown page (RIP my first website).

Google +

Yes, I know Google + still exists, but honestly, stop trying to make it happen. Does anyone really use it for real? Like in a serious manner? It seems too convoluted and obnoxious. I love my Gmail and Google Docs and Cal, etc, but this thing is just too much.

Google Searches That Have Led People Here

I consider some of our posts to be more of a public service. Namely, the HBM post and the Timberlake tribute. What can I say, we’re caring people. When we see a way to get people what they want, we give it to them. But as I was looking through our Google hits, I couldn’t help but wonder (TM Carrie Bradshaw, 1997) if we weren’t messing up a little. There were so many searches where I knew – just KNEW – that people weren’t finding what they were looking for. Well, I’m here to help. If you came to our blog looking for the following things, let me point you in the right direction:

  • “why doesn’t anyone like ellalynn for a baby name?”

Because it’s awful. Better I tell you then your baby in 12 years when she’s reached the stage where she hates you. Actually, here’s a trick. If you want an unusual girl name, don’t throw together random name-sounding syllables. Half of America does that (see: Kaelynn, Braeleigh) . And don’t pick an old-fashioned name that’s also pretty and “normal” sounding. The other half of America does that (see: Lily, Charlotte). Pick a normal name of your or your parent’s generation. Seriously. Name that bitch Sharon or Denise or Mallory: they may not be the most appealing, but I bet she’ll be the only one in her class.

  • “Sangria baby girl name”

NO.  YOU CAN’T. And it isn’t.

  • “my parents should buy me an american girl doll”

You know what? Your parents feed and clothe you, send you to school, worry about you every day, feel as though you are their very soul walking outside of their bodies. Maybe they’re doing all that they can. Those dolls are really expensive, and they show their love in other ways than in overpriced Edwardian dolls. Maybe you should pause for a moment of gratitude, maybe read the poem “Those Winter Sundays:” What did I know, what did I know/ of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Dude but seriously, your parents should totally buy you an American Girl doll. They’re awesome. You have no idea. Probably because your parents won’t buy you one.

  • “why you gotta be such an average chick”

It’s like this. People are clustered on a bell curve with normal distribution for seriously most things. The people who fall more than two standard deviations from the norm – whether for good or bad — make up about 5% of the population. The sad fact is, I gotta be such an average chick because really, most of us are.

  • “Illustration rude driving behavior”

I’ll paint you a little picture. In the middle of law school finals, I was driving back from a job interview. I came up behind a stopped school bus, so I stopped. The lady behind me didn’t, however – she slammed into me so hard that her car was totaled. If you’ve ever had a car totaled on your back, it hurts. I walked back to tell her I’d called 911 and see if she was okay, and she started swearing at me, and a large man had to hold her back so that she didn’t hurt me. They had to take us to separate hospitals because the cops thought she was going to bring physical harm to me. She did not have a valid license, and was totally in the wrong. There. I just illustrated rude driving behavior.

  • “find my molly puppy”

First of all, Molly is a terrible name for a puppy. Second, awww. I’m sorry about your puppy. Also this looks like something a 5-year-old would write, so OH MY GOD WILL SOMEONE PLEASE HELP THIS LITTLE KID FIND HER PUPPY?? Good luck kiddo. Sorry about your dog.

  • “golden globes cookies dresses”

While you’re watching the Golden Globes, you could make gingerbread men. Then you could use frosting to draw dresses on them and have a best and worst dressed contest! Then you could eat them. But please read our liveblog while you do it.

  • “ow”

I’m going to need some more information

  • “stuck dick while driving

OW. Where is it even stuck? Like glove compartment? Gear shift? Did you zipper your pants on it? You have to be CAREFUL with that!

Oh, did you mean “suck?” Jesus no. Don’t even think about it. If I die in a horrific car crash, and the reason is that you were having your man-area serviced, I will haunt you forever. And I mean I’ll haunt you really bad, you know?

  • “how to meet shane west”

If I knew, I’d tell you. Trust me.

  • “what did girls look like in the late 90s”

Mostly the same. Two arms, two legs, probably a uterus in there somewhere.

  • what guys looked like in the late 90s”

Mostly the same. Except with frosted tips and “the fin.” You’re probably too young to know, but those both used to be hair styles.

  • “aunt dress me like girl blog”

My aunt dressed me like a girl, too. And THIS is my blog! Welcome. You’ve found the right spot.

  • “Why are there British people in Les Mis”

The fuck I know. Probably because the movie’s in English or because literally no French people can sing. Not a one of them, bless their hearts.

  • “drinks to serve at a Mary Kay party”

For the sake of your guests, lots of booze. Please. If they get good and liquored up then they might buy more stuff, anyway, so really everybody wins.

  • “car cock snow”

Those are just words.

  • “google made a talk to casey anthony”

It did. It really did. Google sat her down and was like “woman, you NEED to stop killing your baby. Seriously, remember when you killed your baby? That was awful. PLEASE work on not killing babies so much.”

  • “closeted man marries and love enters her life”

I have no idea what entry this landed on, but I’m sure that whatever was there did not help this person. Let me try: honey, please, please leave your gay husband. Love WILL enter your life, but love might get a little worried that you’re married to a gay man and not want to get serious. So probably break up first.

  • “All naked images of Boris Kodjoe”

I WISH.

  • “dick out while driving”

NO. You have to put that away while you’re driving.

  • “sangria for teens”

If you live in a country where the drinking age is 21, sangria for teens is just fruit punch. If teens can drink where you are, may I suggest a dry California red and lots of chopped fruit?

  • “how to make conversation when you have a boring life”

Go out and do fun things instead! Such an easy solution. Or I guess weather?

  • “forced to be a american girl doll”

Every American Girl doll contains the spirit of a living human who was forced through sorcery and witchcraft to live within the body of an 18 inch vinyl historical doll. Pleasant T. Rowland is actually an evil forest banshee.

Things I’ve Googled At Work This Week

95% of the time, the legal publishing world is super busy. But right now – after the fourth quarter has wrapped up, and before the first has started in earnest – we are occupying our time with things like Tea and Cookie Invitationals, and Cake and Pie Invitationals, and word search contests. And Google.
Woman and young girl in kitchen with laptop an...

Here are some things I have looked up this week, with the very sincere hope that nobody actually checks my internet history:

– Did everyone used to have yellow teeth in the 1800s
– How long without workout until muscle turns to fat
– Is ombre hair over
– Little Rascals where are they now
– Can you go to North Pole (I was asking for a friend. My friend is 5.)
– Faces of meth
– Do people with ugly babies know their babies are ugly
– Do ugly people know they’re ugly
– How to tell if you’re ugly
– Farmers Almanac best days to cut hair to increase growth
– Baby animals who are friends
– Eye infection or just tired
– Do people with unflattering fake red hair realize they look ridiculous (NB: I am a ginger and am just extra-sensitive to wannabes who end up with the wrong shade.) (And also to the song Wannabe. I love it so much.) (I had to Google 4-5 permutations of this until I got an answer, because for everything you wonder, there is a 12-year-old on Yahoo Answers with the same question [and a poor command of the English language]. )
– [A complex chain of inquiries to find out (1) Who played Derek, Lisa, and “Duckface” on Full House and (2) what they are doing now.]
– Do they ever show Cathy Santoni

In the event my employers do check my browsing history, I am afraid that the picture that it paints — a shallow, potentially ugly young lady with a possible eye infection and love for baby animals and ’90s Z-listers — is horribly, horribly accurate.