App.net is steaming towards the end of it's one month fundraising drive. As of right now, with four days left, join.app.net reports
4,699 4,700 backers for a total of $332,500 $332,550. It has been growing really fast over the past twenty-four hours or so. Everytime I refresh the page another ten to twenty backers have signed up. I think a big part of that growth is that every backer now has an invite to the app.net service at alpha.app.net.
I've been on there for three days now1 and I have to say I'm really enjoying it. It does feel like a rapidly emerging service. There are suggestions and debates about the nature and details of the service happening constantly in the Global Feed, which is publicly accessible. You can go there right now and see what people, backers who have put up their own money for the success of the project, are saying.
There is definitely a spirit there of, 'Whew. This is what twitter could have and should have been.' There are several active developers on there working really hard to roll out iOS and Android apps. It's a good place. A place of people and conversation and fun and no bots or spam.
And I think they're going to make it. Dalton Caldwell, the founder of App.net, is so focused on building the service and encouraging backers that he has publicly stated that he does not even have a contingency plan for what happens if Monday comes and goes and the fundraising falls short. I don't think he's got anything to worry about...
If you're a fan of twitter and the real-time communication it fosters but don't like the despotic business decisions twitter makes then please take a look at App.net.
Being a backer means getting in early. That means getting a username you want2 and being a part of the early conversations about App.net's direction and conventions.
And you get 256 characters.
1I am @nicholas.
2Yes. That is important. I really wanted @nicholas on twitter. I was two and a half years too late.