Recently, there was some discussion over on Mastodon between former ADN folks about when they joined ADN. This led me to look up my own data export, and I found the following, which was originally a thread of posts on March 13, 2017. I've collected it here and am posting it together for the record. Each paragraph below was a post.
Damn, I miss that place.
With no further ado:
Well, here we are. The end of the line. When I joined ADN back in 2012, I didn't know I was about to have the best online social experience of my life, one that would become the standard against which all other networks would henceforth be judged.
But it did. From the moment I first signed on, it was apparent that something special was going on. In the initial days and weeks, we were all very much aware that we were building a new thing, and there was much discussion about what it should be.
As time passed, a culture developed that was unique. A culture that valued interaction, from friends and strangers alike. Civil discussion. Reasoned discourse. And above all, valuing everyone's contribution, no matter who they were.
Yes, there were issues. There were the loud ones, the complainers, the drama queens. They didn't last. What did last was the sense of community, a community that has persisted to the very end. A community that would not accept the end of it all.
It's an end that didn't have to happen, but was inevitable because the owners of the network had a different vision for their creation. They wanted an app network. The users wanted a social network.
Many of us came here because we thought that's what we were getting. After all, it was born out of frustration with Twitter and Facebook, and the former's lack of respect for third-party developers and users alike.
We were intrigued by the notion of a social network that allowed us to own our own data, that would be beholden not to advertisers, but to us, because we would be the ones paying for it. But the founders took VC money, and VC money wants more.
Soon, there were free accounts, and the spam began. Even today, you can look at alpha.app.net/global/, and see what that has wrought. Suddenly, there was less reason to spend $36 annually, since we weren't getting what we signed up for.
And so it came to pass that when the first annual renewals were due, they fell short. Soon after, the famous State of the Union post appeared, and ADN went into stasis. The end was clearly in sight--but there were those who started building lifeboats.
There was @matigo, who began to transform 10Centuries into something that could replace ADN. And @33mhz built pnut.io, which closely replicated the ADN experience. Now we had someplace to go when, as was inevitable, the founders pulled the plug.
And that brings us to today. Depending on whether you believe the blog or the banner at the top of Alpha, it all ends either tomorrow or Wednesday. Because I want to exit on my own terms, I'm choosing to end my time here today.
I'm leaving with both sadness and optimism. Sadness for the end of something that was so important in my life. Optimism because I know the core of the community will continue. And I'm also leaving with gratitude.
I'm leaving with gratitude to Dalton and Berg for building it. Gratitude to the rest of the ADN crew for developing it. And gratitude to all of you for showing me what a social network could be. You've enriched my life immeasurably.
I'm a better person for the time I've spent here, and I've made friendships with people around the world, friendships I hope will last a lifetime. Thank you. You've been an oasis during some difficult times, and I owe you more than you will ever know.
And now, it's time to go. I'll see you on 10Centuries and Pnut, and maybe occasionally on Twitter. I wish it were otherwise, but all good things must end, and ADN was the best thing ever. Goodbye, ADN. You've been amazing, and I love you all.
And with that, Larry picks up his bag, and turns toward the door. He takes a few steps, stops, sets the bag down, and turns for one last look. He glances upward, from left to right, then looks down and smiles. He picks up his bag, and walks out the door.