Now that we’ve had a little more time since the initial shock and awe of the Elon Musk purchase of Twitter, social networks have had a chance to build up interest as potential next networks to replace Twitter.
We have been given a rare chance, as a culture of social media addicts, to break a cycle we keep repeating and move to something that isn’t just owned by somebody who stands to make billions of dollars from your decision.
Unfortunately, we’re in real risk of falling into the same well as before, convinced that the open choice is somehow too complicated. That has meant that two separate social networks, Post and Hive, have driven interest from Twitter’s failings, away from open networks like Mastodon or the broader Fediverse, or even legacy networks that have generally proven good corporate citizens, like Automattic’s take on Tumblr.
Don’t fall into the well again.
I’m one of those weirdos who never switched to Chrome from Firefox, and the more marketshare Chrome has gained, the less inclined I am to use it for anything other than testing my sites in. I remember the days when Internet Explorer 6 was the assumed default, and I never want to see that again.
Microsoft might have celebrated the death of Internet Explorer 6, but if Google isn’t careful then it might just resurrect an ugly era of the internet where “works best with Chrome” is a modern nightmare.
[T]he web looks more and more like a feudal system, where the geography of the web has been partitioned off by the Frightful Five. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are our lord and protectors, exacting a royal sum for our online behaviors. We’re the serfs and tenants, providing homage inside their walled fortresses. Noble upstarts are erased or subsumed under their existing order.
The generator supports Twitter cards, Pinterest rich pins, Google’s structured data and Facebook’s Open Graph.
Add this markup to your web pages to make links to your site look great in social apps and websites! Also, making outbound content look attractive helps people escape these content silos and venture back out onto the wild wild web!
Do you remember how the web used to work? How the web was supposed to work?
In the earlier days of the web, we always published to our own web site. If you weren’t happy with your web host, or they went out of business, you could move your files and your domain name, and nothing would break.
Today, most writing instead goes into a small number of centralized social networking sites, where you can’t move your content, advertisements and fake news are everywhere, and if one of these sites fails, your content disappears from the internet. Too many sites have gone away and taken our posts and photos with them.
I want to encourage more independent writing. To do that, we need better tools that embrace microblogs and the advantages of the open web. We need to learn from the success and user experience of social networking, but applied to the full scope of the web.
I thought this was an excellent talk on the hard questions we should be asking ourselves as developers. Why do most people use closed, proprietary systems and devices, if the open web is so wonderful? Even as developers, we still use them ourselves, and depend on them. How can we be more empathetic to what the average user needs and wants? How can we lock open the web, so the future isn’t entirely dependent on huge corporations and services, which is where we seem to be heading?