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January 4, 2016

My character Paul in Enchanted Rock White, which is well underway, but not through the first draft yet, quit Facebook and Twitter in protest of their money-centric policies.  He doesn’t think that anyone has noticed, and he isn’t very good at social situations, and he has yet no connections on the alternative, Ello.  Paul is turning out to be a very interesting character, and he won’t be lonely for long.

If you know ello, perhaps you can be my friend, and show me how it works.


Ello’s new year letter to subscribers is attached, because I like the message:

Dear Ello Everyone,

For me, New Year’s isn’t a time for resolutions (which I never keep anyway), but a time to reflect and celebrate how things are going, right here and now.

From that perspective, 2015 was inspiring, empowering, and a hell of a lot of hard work.

My friends and I launched Ello just over a year ago as a place of our own, without compromise. Without the influence of corporations that seek to manipulate what we see and think, and by doing so keep us on our knees.

The mainstream press has lulled itself into believing that the scale of corporate influence on our lives isn’t a big deal — especially if we get something in return. But like bread and circuses offered by Caesar to placate a restless population, gifts doled out by billion-dollar corporations aren’t fairly distributed. Too few have too much power, money, and control.

Exacerbating this is the fact that public corporations are legally bound to do whatever they can to maximize profit. In the case of mainstream social networks, they exploit the things we create to serve ads, and sell our personal data to anyone and everyone who wants to buy it. We’re the product that’s bought and sold.

In 2016, big social media offers an unprecedented threat to creativity, privacy, and free will.

Ello represents an alternative worldview. As a Benefit Corporation, Ello has a legal obligation to consider public interest in every decision we make. This community has grown into an oasis where people everywhere inspire one another to move the world forward. Not a place to control and manipulate, but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.

With this in mind, here are my wishes for you in 2016:

* Break the rules.
* Don’t leave well enough alone.
* Pursue your dreams, and by doing so, end up somewhere unexpected.
* And most of all, open your heart — so you can enjoy yourself when you arrive.

Thank you for helping us create such an inspiring, beautiful, positive, and real community. In 2015 we built the foundation.

2016 is when we blow the roof off!

Much love,

Paul Budnitz
CEO & Co-Founder

From → Writing Fiction

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