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Robert W. Gehl

In: The SAGE Handbook of Social Media

Chapter 18: Alternative Social Media: From Critique to Code

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Alternative Social Media: From Critique to Code
Alternative social media: From critique to code
Robert W. Gehl

It's common to start any essay on social media with numbers, especially total numbers of users, as a means to establish their significance. So I will do the same here. These are the estimated registered members of several social networks:

  • Ello: over 2,000,000
  • *diaspora: 602,795
  • Twister: 80,493
  • GNU social: 25,8231

For anyone with a passing familiarity with the size of the user bases of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest, these numbers are not particularly impressive. However, for students of social media, these estimated numbers tell us that there is life outside the walls of the dominant social media platforms. Ello, *diaspora, Twister, and GNU social are part of a larger collection of sites meant ...

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