Nowadays, we’re used to getting online services for free. Free email from Google. Free cloud storage from Dropbox. Free streaming music from Spotify.
The problem with that? You have to deal with ads.
That’s why Dalton Caldwell – you may remember him from this epic open letter to Mark Zuckerberg from a few days ago – started App.net, an alternative social network that you pay to use.
Caldwell and his team are raising money in a Kickstarter-like project to bring App.net to life. The goal is to raise $500,000 in 30 days. As of this writing, App.net has received just under $400,000. Fundraising ends August 13.
App.net functions a lot like Twitter, letting you follow users and view a feed of their updates. The company compares its service to how Twitter functioned “before it turned into a media company.” The platform is also open to developers to create apps that’ll help make the App.net more useful.
It’s a noble-sounding effort, and App.net has gotten a lot of praise from tech pundits and other bigwigs in the industry such as Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte, and John Gruber.
If you want to give App.net a try, you can donate now. A $50 donation gives you access to the service for one year, $100 adds the bonus of developer tools to start creating apps for App.net, and a $1,000 donation will score you a personal meeting with Dalton.