If you can spare $50 for a social network I'm guessing you can spare $50 to help put an end to slavery. Yeah, it's 2012 and it's still a pretty big problem. That shit is unacceptable. Really. </whiteguilt>
Personally, I'm not the fan of the "don't spend money on anything until the world's problems have been cured" style of thinking, but it's certainly a novel idea.
Now all they have to do is fix the title of the signup page. Right now it says Signup For App.net.
EDIT: Interestingly, the domain name of freetheslaves.net belongs to "Superhuman Ventures, LLC." I don't know enough about how people taking donations work, but I find it pretty strange that Free The Slaves have a long list of directors and staff (https://www.freetheslaves.net/SSLPage.aspx?pid=285) but no mention of what their corporate structure is. Is this unusual? Should they explicitly be a charitable organisation?
A plug for a charity that's three clicks in, and occupies, what, 5% of the copy written for this site, can hardly be considered the main point of the site.
The site is a parody of App.net. Simple as that. He also offers an alternative thing to throw $50 at if you have a spare $50 to throw around.
84% Programs and Services
At the bottom of the same sidebar are links to their past financial documents, up to 2010 ( http://www.freetheslaves.net/Document.Doc?id=251 ). In that are their compensations per-employee on page 7 and 8. Of the 12 employees listed, no one received compensation of more than $36,000, and the total compensation for all of them was less than $80,000. Most received zero compensation. The average hours each work per week are also listed, so one can take an educated guess about the corporate structure.
Their total revenue (~$2.9 mil) and expenditure (~$3.1 mil) are listed on page 12. For that year, they operated at a ~$200k loss, leaving them with ~$1.1 mil in assets at the end of the fiscal year. More itemized details are available within.
I think it's good to be skeptical of charitable organizations given the corruption that has been exposed in some non profits. As to why 2010 is the last available? The 2011 returns were due in April 2012. Perhaps they're waiting on approval from the IRS before publishing it. Someone else could chime in here with a better reason.
As for the "don't spend money on <x> until <y> is resolved" mentality...I see it all the time:
"It's such a shame that people spend money on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter when space travel/clean energy/cancer research/etc is such a greater cause..."
The communist anti-capitalism rhetoric of the mid 1900s was similar: comparing the luxuries of the rich against the suffering of the lowest common denominator. Perhaps there was a similar pitch on the capitalist side against communism--I just don't see it.
I think the beauty of this organization (and most non-profits) is that it's based on voluntary participation. They're not forcing anyone to donate. Their emotional manipulation is on par with the typical commercial for weight loss, beer, cologne, anti-depressant medication, etc...and in my opinion, their cause is more noble.
Black and white much? This idea that everything that's anti-capitalist or anti-stupid-ways-we-spend-money is communist is absurd.
The anti-capitalism rhetoric of the "mid-1900's" was a full-on propaganda campaign put out by government agencies and supported by the very real threat of nuclear total annihilation. Comparing a complaint about the stupid ways we spend money and organize our priorities to the Cold War is a bit of a stretch. I fear communist comparisons are becoming the new Godwin's law.
In reality, the guilt mentality discussed above is much more similar to the ultra-realist perspective of the comedy of Louis CK— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk —in that it is ridiculous that we have the immediate concerns that we do, but is, in fact, entirely true, and it's observant and useful to point that out.
It is not, however, communist.
This does not mean that such arguments are not straw manning the issue. However, it does mean that they're more nuanced than whatever the argument is that you're trying to debate with above.
Communism is being described as "A communist society would have no governments, countries, or class divisions."
Hence, no rulers. Communism in its essence is a form of Anarchist society.
(You won't get any refund until you file the full return, you'll get hit with penalties if your estimated payments undershot the actual tax due by very much, and shorter deadlines may apply in particular cases, like people filing from overseas. But most folks can get the full six months.)
Taxes are due in April, usually on the 15th. Income returns and information returns are nominally due in April but the filing deadline can be extended to September. Extending the filing deadline does not extend the deadline for payment, so taxpayers seeking extensions should pay their estimated taxes by April and will receive a refund if they later discover that they overpaid.
I'm not sure why the LLC owns the site though.
Probably because it's the most poorly presented social statement... ever. Requiring users to go as far as to try and sign up (with no indication it's anything other than a developers idea of a dumb joke) is... silly.
That's the best position to get someone in to give a few bucks for something good. Even if it's not the full amount of $50.
(Also if you think that $50 can wipe out slavery you're incredibly naïve. At least the return on investment when you spend that $50 on “virtual crap” is more clear. That's why people will continue to spend more money on “virtual crap” rather than charities, however undeniably noble their intentions are.)
I am sponsoring an eight year old boy from Kamrabad Uchcha Vidyalaya (East India) for 20 euros monthly. That includes school material (for the whole class), health insurance (for his whole family) and nutrition support (again for the whole family). And no, I've never seen him personally.
But my sister did when she was a volunteering doctor for one year in his area. I really don't want to argue with you, but I believe that it is less naïve to at least try to help with $50 than not to try it at all.
Now let's back those awesome 3d glasses on kickstarter...!
Came to HN to find my answer. I guess that may work given that app.net users will eventually know what's up.
Yes, "everything" also includes "taking hipster photos of my meals and sharing them with my hipster friends", and that's closer to why I actually signed up, but the implicit claim that $50 towards a project as ambitious as App.net does _nothing_ to solve the world's social ills is very questionable.
50 dollars for social problems, like states that still have death penalty. 50 dollars to allow people to get education and make the world better.
Oh, if everyone who has 50 dollars spare would spend them, we could transform the world into a global utopia by just using what we have and waste anyway. You know what? It could even be done for free if everyone would spend a little of time and his/her skills. Like really, we could just fix problems by moving things around. Best example: Current (as inefficient as it is) food production could RIGHT NOW feed everyone on this planet THRICE(!) (says the WHO, not some random person). It just needs to get there, which also isn't a huge deal if we simply would use the infrastructure we have RIGHT NOW. I don't know, maybe we could even do it without much effort if we would just take use of what's wasted here anyways (because nobody invests into people using that infrastructure, because of the financial crisis that (in a way) forces people to do nothing).
So, if it is that simple, why don't we and change things to finally be able to do something we all want and can be really proud of?
Maybe I am a dumb idiot, but I honestly don't know.
What about getting together and just try to do it? Anything we've got to lose? I mean most people here I guess know to value the experience you get from failing.
Which is an ongoing problem, given perpetual interference by politicians. Consider Sam Kinison's solution: If 10 people pitched in $50 each, they could move one of those people to where the food is.
...and war lords.
It starts with the belief system which is more or less Social Darwinism, even though many people don't want to admit that.
If you can correct that flawed perspective and make the world truly more egalitarian, the next basic problem is figuring out how to create a system or fundamental operating principles for a system which results in holistic efficiency while at the same time supporting local adaptation and evolution.
I was thinking it should have been called 'i had fifty dollars, but i gave it to these people'
Good night that was painful.
ihave50dollars.com is a spoof of join.app.net (duplicate layout of main page, text changed), which is a no-ad paid-membership version of Twitter, which apparently got VC funding to some people's amazement. An attempt to sign up takes you to an "end slavery" charity.
Yeah, sounds stupid to spell it out like this. Not everyone knows what app.net is, nor what its backstory is (I still don't). Ergo the spoof garners a well-deserved WTF.
WHY someone felt compelled to create the spoof is still a mystery to some of us.
(No value proposition is more accurately no value proposition for the site by itself. It does have a value proposition if it does billions of users like twitter, but that there is no realistic way of getting there.)
Basically, I could announce that I'm offering a service whereby you give me $50 dollars and I call you gullible. If I find 100,000 people willing to do that, it would mean that my service is "worth" $5,000,000 dollars.
The "worth" you're talking about does not seem to me as a very good indicator of whether we're improving the world or not.
If you're not involved in the transaction, you're not in a position to decide "whether we're improving the world or not". Millions daily spend ~$50 for an extravagant meal, far beyond nutritional needs, and having nothing but excrement to show for it. Would you discount those goods/services as "not improving the world" and not worth millions of dollars?
"Would you discount those goods/services as "not improving the world" and not worth millions of dollars?"
Yes. Considering how people actually starve because of speculation with food, and considering global warming, I wouldn't even blink when saying that makes the world worse.
So I'm all for stepping on that toe and see where it leads. Kinda like making wearing fur uncool -- why not? Where is the problem?
"We eventually raised $803,000 from over 12,000 backers during the campaign."
Twitter sucks but reproducing their network effect is a huge undertaking, especially when you're charging for it, and IMO 100k users as post-hype starting point is way too low for App.net to have a reasonable chance of succeeding before running out of money.
I'm willing to bet at least half of App.net users are bots used to incentivise people to join "to be a part of the club"
someone was simultaneously bored and disdainful of app.net.
It would appear that App.net is now at stage two.
I just don't think trading one man's walled garden for another is what we need. We need an email-like solution to this problem. Something open and federated.
Until app.net becomes a bitcoin exchange...
-- Carl Sagan, "Broca's Brain"
For example, app.net was never in the being ignored phase, it's got plenty of hype and it doesn't even exist yet.
Also, there's plenty of things that get mocked and nothing more. Sometimes laughter results from fear, sometimes it just results from genuinely finding something hilarious.
But thanks for comparing app.net with Gandhi, that just made it funnier :P
Oh the irony.
“Not to be confused with Murphy's law.”
Muphry's Law is something different (yet related).
You see this mistake frequently.
I don't normally do these corrections, but I can't help myself in this case.
> do these corrections
In that case....
"wrong" and "right" are adjectives, while "writing" is a verb which you are using the words "wrong" and "right" to modify. However, adjectives should only be used to modify nouns and pronouns, not verbs. In this case you should use an adverb:
why get used to writing stuff incorrectly, when I can get used to writing them correctly
If you prefer, you can use "writing" as a noun and continue to use "right" and "wrong":
why get used to the wrong way of writing when I can get used to the right way
I hate people who correct grammar on the internet, but you did make the mistake of asking. Sorry.
Please, no. I avoid taking part in grammar threads, but a plea for more has drawn me out. There are few things that derail conversations more than pedantic quibbling about "do" or "make". Take a look at this subthread: a bunch of people who feel better about how they've shown themselves able to one-up others but zero interesting discussion.
My biggest feature request for HN: private comments. Let me reply to a poster privately. Then if I see somebody who looks like a non-English speaker who has made a mistake or somebody who has misspelled a name, I can correct them without causing this kind of useless thread. Not to mention private conversations (where you could say more than you are willing to say publicly) started around interesting comments could turn epic.
That said, I still agree with your complaint. Marking a reply as off-topic (voluntarily, though of course admins should be able to override this), with each comment potentially having a sub-thread with off-topic replies, is something I'd like to see here, and have planned for my own CMS. Best of both worlds, and with unlimited nesting of that, you could even go off-off-topic, or off-off-off-topic.
Either I'm just not all that bright, or they took a swing and missed on their message.
It's making fun of the idea of paying $50 to sign up for a years membership to this service.
Our team has spent the last 9 years building social
synergy, developing paradigms, talking on out mobile
phones and more.
Edit 30s later: Oh it's a spoof. My faith in humanity restored.
They are mocking it because they think it's a privileged network only for people who are willing to pay the grand sum of 50 US Dollars. It was the same story with svbtle. This smug sense of entitlement is frankly disgusting.
Then once he became popular what does he do? He built svbtle, a blog network of bloggers who all have pages and posts that look identical...
I also avoid the greater-than-thou grouping.
Companies are beholden to those who pay. If it's the users who pay, the power is with them. I like that idea. If it's the advertisers, they don't need to care as much about the user, see FB and Twitter.
Stuff DOESN'T have to be free. I pay for many things, and in general the things I pay for are better than things which are free.
I have no problems with the $50 or the request for it. Those who do should buy GIMP, while I use Photoshop.
All joking aside, I agree with the message. I almost signed up for app.net today, but didn't (after finally noticing the charge aspect (not gonna lie, didn't really look into it)) because it is NOT going to overthrow anything, let alone Twitter.
The warm sentiments of no ads is nice, but end-users don't give a shit. $50 is MONEY, free--adversely--isn't.
I'll be happy if people can prosper from app.net, but I don't see much happening there that didn't happen at google+.
Now, putting the joke aside, let's be real. Whilst the majority of you aren't willing to spend $50 (Including myself), the fact is, some people already have and they have managed to raise a lot of money.
I suppose it doesn't matter what product you have as long as you know how to market it and most importantly, solve a problem.
Whilst App.net may be ideal for developers because it considers their requirements, I highly doubt whether main stream users care the problems that App.net is trying to solve. None of my friends would pay for a social network, and neither would I. Why? Because I can use my phone and there's plenty of other free alternatives.
Either way, I wish App.net all the best but I rather keep my $50.
What problem does app.net solve? Honest question, because it surely doesn't solve the problem of walled gardens.
People can pay $25 to adopt a star, which is just a certificate saying you spent $25 on a certificate. That's a legitimate business (or charity) even though it's idiotic. Lots of businesses are about solving the problem of too much thickness in your wallet and your head.
I mean, people DO (intend to) develop apps for it.. how many of them are solving actual problems, and how many just make them in the hope that people will use them? You know, the latter would kinda make app.net meta-kool-aid for kool-aid brewers, but that's snarky, and also premature. So I'm really, honestly asking, and willing to consider answers.
Yes, I am skeptical, but I'm trying to not be too much of a bigot. After all, asking doesn't cost anything :D
World-changing apps solving actual problems? It's been two months, man! For how long was the web nothing but "Welcome to my home page! It's under construction!" with blinking text and animated GIFs?
So I asked, what problem does it solve. That's all. Since you're not even the one who claimed it solves a problem, why not, you know, let me ask that question in peace, instead of moaning about me asking it?
it's convenient that App.net is so clearly positioned as for-pay Twitter because trying to explain what Twitter is or why you'd pay for it is impossible if people don't already see the value in what Twitter does.
What's not to get?
That said, strike at the fucking root people. The problem isn't slavery. Slavery is a symptom of the problem. The problem is bad economies, which come from bad government. If you're not working on trying to find ways to encourage good government you're a hobbyists, not professionals, and you should take claims like "Our goal: to end slavery in our lifetime." off your website.
If you are interested in improving bad governments then for God's sake don't listen to intellectuals. Read the people who've actually done it. It's not as good as a controlled experiment, but it's way better than pure talk.
 I'm actually not sure about 1st world countries like the U.K. There might not actually be a root to strike at there.
Buying the membership doesn't prove you HAVE 50 dollars, it proves you HAD it.
I spend too much time on HN.
Try [GERUND] or better, [VERBing], maybe?
>it is saying that the people are currently dying
The video was created at TEDx in Maui. TED is one of the most expensive social networks in the world, charging thousands of dollars to attend the main conference, which is the foundation of the TEDx programs.
Accidental endorsement of Dalton?
In this case, supposedly the overhead is 16%. That isn't great, but it is in the "meh" category for me. I'd rather give to the Salvation Army that only takes ~5% overhead. In addition, I'd like to see what the 86% going to programs and services is really accomplishing.
After clicking the top "alpha.ihave50dollars.com" link (and others) you end up at heello.com. So I then understandably thought the site was a "snark-attack" by the Heello/Twitpic guys.
After all, Heello was started by Twitpic when Twitter was just starting to clamp down on their API usage and was about to start their own photo service -- so Heello was started pretty much in the same spirit as App.net was -- at least in the sense of "Hey! I'm pissed at Twitter, so now I'm gonna make a competitor clone".
So I wonder, why doesn't anyone mention this Heello? Does the App.net guy have more Hacker Mojo than the Twitpic guy? Is this Heello guy pissed that App.net got paid $700k+ for doing what they wanted to do 1-2 years ago?
How many posts have you seen on HN in the last days that mentioned "I put my money where my mouth is"? I came across 3 or 4, one poster even quoted their app.net welcome e-mail, haha...
Now this. Priceless. I couldn't stop laughing reading the page, and the fact that they actually refer you to a worthy cause when you try to sign up makes it all the better. 10 million out of 10 possible points for style, to quote Douglas Adams.
The site? Or some of the reactions to it?
> "The type of nonsense ignorant people like to spew because they can't grasp that we can focus our collective effort on many things at the same time, that we can spend money on our own interests and still be a positive force in the world."
LOL? Now you're really reaching for it.
How the f did I jumble it up like that? I said that so often over the last 20 years... huh. Thanks, better late than never. I Should read the book again.
What a bizarre situation.
> The seller will only ship to confirmed addresses. To complete this transaction, you will need to enter your information again.
by my address is confirmed. What gives?
Thus I lol'd at this.
Yes, you're supposed to laugh.
I mean you don't go out and guilt a carpenter for money because he bought a nice power saw instead of using a manual one?
This just goes on to imply that internet "goods" are frivolous commodities further degrading the idea of paying for software.
I wonder if they did this similar thing for other 'tangible' goods, like this silver plated ballscratcher http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0010NWP9K.
Why pay for federation of content and relations, and subscription to updates? I mean sure, feel free, but for me that's just throwing money on something that isn't just pointless, it's actually counterproductive.
It is NOT buying a powersaw, it is making a contract with someone who saws your stuff. And the criticism is "when that guy runs away or starts being silly, you will STILL have to learn how to saw a piece of wood, so maybe learn that right away." - not that it's always bad to pay money for convenience.
It's the difference between a literate person paying someone to summarize the newspaper for them, and someone who can't read doing the same, never developing the desire to learn reading and writing. The latter should raise red flags. In that sense, app.net offers zero improvement over twitter and facebook. It's just another dead end.
It's hard enough to get a network going, let alone make people pay for it.
It sounds cyclic. Social networks need lots of users because they can't charge their users directly, and they can't charge their users directly because they need so many users.
I don't know that app.net has to replace Twitter for everyone. Can't they be smaller and yet successful, precisely because they charge users directly?
Therefor, to offer the most value to users, those building social networks want to get rid of barriers (including payment) that might prevent more people from signing up. That, then, gets reinforced by the cyclic relationship between the fact that indirectly monetizing users tends to pull in relatively little per user while marginal costs of hosting an additional user are minimal - but the initial dynamic is an artifact of the nature of social sites to begin with.
Before facebook, social networks could provide a lot of value by saturating small demographics. Example: If all Swedish teenagers are on playahead.se and can all talk to each other there, they don't gain much from network expansion. The reason those networks need to grow beyond the clique where they're successful is that their business model can't sustain itself on a small number of paying users.
If app.net saturates the demographic of "people who care enough about Twitter's new API to chance $50 away," I could talk to 50% of my Twitter circle even if the total number of users on app.net is only 1% of Twitter's.
join.app.net is making the same mistake as diaspora, facebook, myspace, etc. You can't charge someone real money when you aren't the one providing the value.
Buying an app with the intent of supporting someone implies that you're doing them a favor, and that you're not getting value for value.