The archive contains older posts which may no longer reflect my current views.

# Although Vero has been around since 2015 I don't remember hearing about it until it blew up (in part as a protest against Instagram's algorithmic timeline) a few days ago.

The current name land grab reminds me of when Plurk and Identi.ca were being touted as the answer in Twitter's "fail whale" days.

Spoiler alert: they weren't.

As soon as I saw what Vero was all about - the idea it "makes sharing online more like real life" using selective audiences I was immediately taken back to the promises of Google+ and its circles.

It didn't work for Google and I don't know if it will work for Vero.

Perhaps the one advantage Vero has is that it takes a more Facebookian approach to audiences (think Everyone, friends of friends, friends) whereas Plus' circles were under complete user control and, therefore, often became too granular. This resulted in many just posting to public because they couldn't decide which circle people should fall in or there was overlap because we are multi-faceted beings.

Although Vero promises an algorithm free feed and no ads (it will monetise using subscriptions and charges for selling via the platform) I'm not sure that jumping from the frying pan of one silo straight into the as yet unproven fire of another is what we really need right now.

It all just sounds too good to be true.

I wish them well and hope they prove me wrong but, while I think the noise about Russian developers and the CEO being the son of a former Lebanese prime minister is stupid and tantamount to inciting racial hatred, I'm afraid I won't be signing up.

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# It may have only been an introduction but it feels good to have sent the first instalment for the newsletter today.

# While thinking about the similarities between Vero and Google Plus I also started considering those between Plus and micro.blog.

From the outset a big problem with Google Plus was the public perception of it. People didn't really understand it's scope seeing a particular aspect and assuming that was the extent of it. There was a "duality between its roles as a social network and social layer" which confused users.

As I've mentioned before, a similar duality exists within micro.blog in that it appears to be a social network when it is actually a networked collection of (micro)blogs. When you further add the complication of having both hosted and external blogs things can get a little convoluted.

When you consider replies in the timeline are really comments in response to blog posts, and these comments can be sent to external blogs using webmentions, it's role as a social layer is apparent but not necessarily obvious to the uninitiated.

A network providing a social layer is not actually anything unusual. Facebook have offered a comments box as part of their API for years and Plus followed suit in 2013. The difference with micro.blog, however, is that it isn't a "true" social network and, in webmentions, utilises something far more powerful and wide reaching but that most haven't heard of let alone understand.

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# I think WatchOS 4.2.3 is eating my battery. I know it's getting old (it's a Series 0) but I was easily finishing the day with 30% - 40% remaining. After installing 4.2.3 recently I'm firmly in the red, sometimes in single figures.

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