As much as Twitter's recent API "warnings" have made us want it to be so, App.net is not, according to this excellent essay by Orian Marx, "How App.net Can Change Everything", just another Twitter alternative.
It's a platform. It's very close to what I was just begging new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer for, when I said,
Whereas a Twitter client is the current Hello World2, give us a platform that makes a Twitter-like service the "MyFirstWebApp.html" experience. Do for web application development what Blogger and Wordpress did for content development.
Along those lines, Marx suggests we call the social application currently featured at alpha.app.net "Alpha," to distinguish it from the infrastrcture?the platform?on which it was built, which is App.net. If this truly is the direction in which Dalton, et al are headed, I think good things are in store.