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The social networking site Ello is just five weeks old, but damn if it hasn’t made an impression. In the past week, the site has exploded on social media, starting with the LGBTQ community, the music industry, and—somewhat randomly— Germans. It continues to expand to various other corners of the Web. Today, 40,000 new signup requests are pouring in each hour, according to co-founder Paul Budnitz. The site had to temporarily cap new user invitations several times to keep from crashing. More than a million people are waiting to get into Ello, which is more people than are actually onEllo.社交网站Ello刚上线五个星期,但它早已给很多人留给了深刻印象的印象。上周该网站的注册人数剧增,特别是在受到同性恋者圈、音乐界人士,还有德国人(最后这一点应当是个随机现象)的欢迎。

它还在之后进占互联网的其它角落。该公司的牵头创始人保罗o巴德尼茨回应,现在Ello每小时都会接到4万个新的登记申请人,该网站被迫多次对新的用户邀展开容许,以防止服务器瓦解。多达100万人还在排队等候转入Ello,这甚至比Ello上现有的用户还多。It’s the kind of attention any app developer would die for. How did a handful of guys in Vermont, with a bare-bones Tumblr knockoff, create the latest Web craze? Answer: Launch with a manifesto and an enemy. Ello refuses ads and dislikes Facebook for doing the opposite. “Your social network is owned by advertisers,” its manifesto declares. “You are the product that’s bought and sold.”对于任何软件开发者来说,能有这样低的关注度感叹杀也值了。



“At the bottom of the screed, users are offered two buttons. Click “I agree” and you end up on a sign-up page. Click “I disagree” and you arrive at facebook.com. A subtle burn.在这篇雄文的末尾,用户能看见两个按键。页面“我表示同意”,你就转入了登记页面。页面“我不表示同意”,你就转入了Facebook。感叹一个精妙的小花招。


While discussing the app, it’s difficult to keep Budnitz from wandering into soapbox territory. “I want to change the world,” he says in an interview with Fortune. “I want to prove that advertising isn’t the only way to make money on the Internet. What’s screwing up the Internet and creating all the data collection problems and privacy issues has to do with advertising as a model on the Internet.” Hundreds of thousands of people have clicked Ello’s “I agree” button in solidarity.在辩论这款应用于时,你完全很难停下来巴德尼茨慷慨激昂的演说雅兴。他在拒绝接受《财富》(Fortune)专访时回应:“我想要转变这个世界。我想要证明广告并不是在互联网上赚钱的唯一方法。


There’s a small problem with being too self-righteous on the Internet, though: People are eager to point out your hypocrisy. Not long after Ello went viral, one of the site’s users pointed out that it had raised venture capital. The message was that the company will eventually be pressured to make lots of money or sell to someone who would likely do the same. Ello’s investors own 12% of the company, Budnitz says, and acknowledges that Ello is “obviously a business.” Unsurprisingly, his inbox has been flooded with venture capital interest this week.不过在互联网上守住道德高地也不会遇到一些小问题,比如人们不会迫不及待地证明你的虚伪。就在Ello窜红后旋即,该网站的一名用户认为,Ello早已从风投那里一夜间了融资。这解释Ello最后还得面对赚的压力,或者被卖给想要通过Ello赚的人。

巴德尼茨也坦白投资者享有该公司12%的股份,并回应Ello“似乎是笔做生意”。不出所料,他的邮箱这周都慢被传达风投意向的信函挤爆了。There have been issues with Ello’s lack of privacy and blocking features, a basic requirement for any social media site in the era of online bullying and harassment. The company has responded by building features as quickly as possible, moving around its priorities, not unlike a politician might do to keep various constituents happy. For the haters, Budnitz has little sympathy. “If you don’t like what we’re doing, then please delete your account and leave,” he says.Ello目前仍然不存在缺少隐私和制止功能等问题,在这个网络流氓洪水泛滥的年代,这个功能对任何社交媒体都是必不可少的。



不过对于喜欢Ello的人,巴德尼茨则毫不留情面。他说道:“如果你不讨厌我们正在做到的事,请求移除你的账户并离开了。”Even if Ello, a company with strongly stated principles, can make its audience of users with strongly held beliefs happy, it faces a much bigger challenge: survival. To be a successful business, Ello faces the not insignificant task of turning Internet’s entire business model on its head.对于Ello这样一家实质很强的公司来说,就算它知道能让那些某种程度很有原则的用户感到高兴,它也仍然面对着一个更大的挑战,那就是存活。

想沦为一家顺利的企业,Ello必须解决问题的众多任务,就是改变互联网行业的整个业务模式。Content and communications on the Web have monetized with eyeballs and advertisements since the Web’s earliest days. In Michael Wolff’s 1998 book Burn Rate, the teams at Time and Wired magazines in the mid-1990s separately have a lightbulb moment: “Users prefer to accept advertising rather than pay for the cost of content.” He writes: “Wired’s stature in the Internet community, and Time’s stature in the advertising community nearly overnight made advertising part of everyone’s plans for the Web.”从互联网的襁褓阶段开始,网络上的内容和传播就仍然在靠网友的眼球和广告赚钱。

迈克尔o沃尔夫在1998年的著作《烧钱速度》(Burn Rate)一书中写到,90年代中期,《时代》(Time)和《连线》(Wired)杂志都分别意识到广告对互联网的最重要意义。书中写到:“用户更加偏向于拒绝接受广告,而不是花钱去出售内容。《连线》在互联网社区中的高度,以及《时代》在广告界的地位,完全一夜之间使广告出了每个进占网络的人都要考虑到的问题”Wired’sfirst banner ad appeared in 1994. On that foundation, the Web’s economy was built. The ad-supported Web contributes around $530 billion to the U.S. economy, directly employing two million people and indirectly, 3.1 million, according to an IAB study from 2012, the latest available.《连线》的第一条网页横幅广告问世于1994年。


以此为基础,互联网经济开始创建一起。根据IAB公司2012年的一项研究,由广告反对的互联网行业为美国经济贡献了约5300亿美元,获取了200万个必要工作岗位和310万个间接工作岗位。It’s not that the world loves digital advertising. It’s that advertising happens to be the thing that works best. The Atlantic recently called digital advertising “the Internet’s original sin.” And so, we have a handful of noble, ambitious, possibly naive attempts to repent by reeling back Web’s default business model. Before Ello, there were the social networks App.net and Diaspora, both of which came up short in their lofty goals.这并非是说道世界讨厌数字广告,而是广告正好是合适的东西。《大西洋月刊》(The Atlantic)最近撰文称之为,数字广告是“互联网的原罪”。

因此,有少数内心崇高又雄心勃勃(有可能也有点愚蠢)的公司期望能挣脱这种配置文件的业务模式。比如在Ello之前还有App.net和Diaspora等社交网络,惜他们的目标虽然高尚,却仍才对昙花一现的命运。Ello’s business plan is different. The site plans to charge for features. If you want to manage two different accounts on Ello, you will have to pay a one-time fee of $2. The site launched with hardly any features in order to be as simple as possible. That gives Ello the option of charging for each new feature it introduces.Ello的商业计划则有些不一样,该网站计划根据功能收费。

如果你想要在Ello上享有2个账户,你就得重复使用缴纳2美元。由于宿老近于珍主义,该网站刚刚公布时完全什么功能也没,因此对每项新功能收费沦为Ello今后的可能性之一。The problem with App.net, Budnitz says, is that its $50 per year membership was a high hurdle for people to get over. But it’s not clear how, even at scale, charging users $1 and $2 at a time could turn into a sizable (nevermind profitable) business. The company’s investors might not be okay with that, but Ello’s founders are. Its manifesto states that Ello’s founders are not interested in ruling the world: “We think people that are motivated to do things like that have unresolved psychological problems.”巴德尼茨指出,App.net告终的原因在于每年50美元的会员费觉得是太贵了。







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