Dalton Caldwell's ambitious attempt at a new kind of social network has just achieved its no less daring goal of half a million US dollars in pledged funding. The requisite threshold for funding App.net was crossed some 38 hours in advance of the midnight PT deadline that its developers had set for Monday, August 13th. It took 7,372 backers to collect $500,050 of pledges, with the price of membership varying from $50 for a basic Member account to $1,000 in the Pro Tier.

In recent weeks it had seemed like App.net wouldn't be able to reach its lofty goal, however a late flurry of contributions today has helped it rapidly make up the necessary ground. Caldwell and his development team are striving to introduce an entirely new business model to social networking, arguing that ad-supported or otherwise commercially motivated operations can never provide the pure focus on user experience that a great social network requires. So he's been asking the world to help his team "create the service we all wish existed." You can check out the preliminary version of this social network with a difference over on alpha.app.net.