Mat Honan of Wired writes about App.net and the problems it faces in getting both people and developers interested in its service. The article is great since it puts in laymen’s terms exactly what it is and what it provides, something that's needed after being confused as an alternative to Twitter for so long.
In simple terms, App.net is a tool that affords you control of your data and network. It lets developers write apps and tap into users’ existing social graphs and stored files. Its first app was a Twitter-esque status updating service. But over the past year, it’s been quietly transforming itself, and with its free tiers and passport service, it may finally be ready to change the world — but first it has a lot to overcome, not the least of which are the many misconceptions about what the hell it is exactly.