Ello and their "you are not a product" manifesto swept through social media discourse like an eyeless smiling tornado a few weeks ago. Clearly, people are dissatisfied enough with existing ad-ridden, privacy-averse networks like Facebook and (please gawd no, not my Twitter) Twitter that they are willing to give it a shot.

This new network presents some interesting challenges. Much like Pinterest, Ello's Terms of service state that you can only post what you have permission to publish on their service: much like Pinterest, this also runs counter to the entire success of the platform. People want to post whatevs, copyright and attribution be damned. So in that way, Ello seems to be similar to every other thing out there. As with any social media platform, there's a trade-off for artists - don't use it and your work will find it's way on there anyway. Personally I like to get out in front and post the work myself. Since re-sharing is (so far) not a feature, it will be interesting to see whether true self-promotion is possible without using Twitter or other social media to point to your Ello page for you.

Where Ello shines is in the simplicity, and boldness of its images. They are freaking huge. You can put some truly gigantic work up on Ello, and the white minimalist aesthetic is borne from a fine art gallery. Your art and images won't be successful because Ello makes them look good: they will look good if they are good. I love this emphasis on imagery!

The platform has a long way to go before it's mature. I've been playing with Artstation since the beta last summer, and that's a much more sophisticated beta than Ello by an astronomical unit.

But Ello has me intrigued. Heck, I'm enjoying it. Here's a list of some of the SciArt people I know of who have decided to sign up on the network - some haven't populated the platform with work yet, others are all-in. Some on the list have been featured here on Symbiartic in the past, but are not primarily science-artists.

Will science-inspired art find a foothold on this platform?

If I've missed you or another artist, help me out by listing more in the comments below.

  1. @flyingtrilobite
  2. @katiemckissick
  3. @surlyamy
  4. @artologica
  5. @talcotts
  6. @sarastewartwork
  7. @thevexedmuddler
  8. @briangeorge
  9. @katura
  10. @dracontes
  11. @acuriousbestiary
  12. @invivo
  13. @tikinaut
  14. @treelobsters
  15. @chrishutson
  16. @sigonee
  17. @anatotitan
  18. @petercook
  19. @blackmudpuppy
  20. @rachelmbray
  21. @kitlane
  22. @bombsfall
  23. @inkybat

[Edit: I've also added the list itself on Ello, so you can add more people in the comments there!]