snydeq writes "At least 10,000 people believe in App.net's vision of a messaging platform for Web apps — but it's unclear whether those people will be peers or sharecroppers, writes Simon Phipps. 'Last week App.net reached the milestone of 10,000 users who signed up for a new — mostly yet to be written — social network that looks like an early reimplementation of Twitter. Signing up people to claim user names on an (not vaporware) alpha Web service may not seem surprising or novel, but this time there's a difference: Everyone who signed up for App.net paid $50 for the privilege,' Phipps writes. 'App.net has used the crowdfunding approach, but it's not the same kind of project. While superficially similar — there's an offer of immediate use of its Twitter-clone service and reservation of the user ID of your choice — it's much more speculative. It's crowdsourcing the seed capital for a new venture, crowdsourcing the design, crowdsourcing the testing, and crowdsourcing most of the software that interacts with the venture, all without actually giving anyone but the founder a true stake in the outcome.'"