Ultimately, all of media is prioritization — every site, every newspaper, every broadcast has editors involved in determining what is the hierarchy of information to be presented to users. Somehow, RSS (at least in its current incarnation) never understood that. This is both a failure of the readers themselves, but also of the protocol, which never forced publishers to provide signals on what was most and least important.

The Next Web:

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are probably soon going to dictate what traffic can or cannot arrive at people’s end devices. GOOG-FB-AMZN traffic would be the most common, due to their popularity among internet users. Because of this market demand, ISPs will likely provide cheap plans with access to GOOG-FB-AMZN, while offering more expensive plans with full internet access — and it’s already a reality in countries like Portugal.

This would expand even more the dominance the three tech giants already enjoy. There would be no more economical incentive for smaller businesses to have independent websites, and a gradual migration towards Facebook Pages would make more sense. Smaller e-commerce sites would be bought by AMZN or go bankrupt. Because most internet users couldn’t open all the sites, GOOG would have little incentive to be a mere bridge between people and sites. […]

The common pattern among these three internet giants is to grow beyond browsers, creating new virtual contexts where data is created and shared. The Web may die like most other technologies do, simply by becoming less attractive than newer technologies. And like most obsolete technologies, they don’t suddenly disappear, neither do they disappear completely.

Brad Frost:

But lately I’ve noticed the platform feeling increasingly grabby, to the point where they’ve broken the fourth wall with me and now the whole experience is no longer enjoyable. They’ve gotten so brazen in their tactics to keep users engaged (ENGAGED!) I think it’s no longer possible to be a casual Facebook user. […]

This is what happens when the metric of how much time users spend using your thing supersedes the goal of providing legitimate value to your users. The tricks, hooks, and tactics Facebook uses to keep people coming back have gotten more aggressive and explicit. And I feel that takes away from the actual value the platform provides.

Anch’io registro un numero sempre più consistente di notifiche fuffa, del tipo guarda cosa stavi facendo un anno fa, celebra due anni d’amicizia, questo tuo amico ha appena postato una foto, sono tre giorni che non fai x, etc.

Fuck Facebook

Joe Cieplinksi:

The number of restaurants, bars, and other local establishments that, thanks to crappy web sites they can’t update, post their daily specials, hours, and important announcements only via Facebook is growing. That’s maddening. Want to know if we’re open this holiday weekend? Go to Facebook.

Go to hell.

John Gruber:

Treat Facebook as the private walled garden that it is. If you want something to be publicly accessible, post it to a real blog on any platform that embraces the real web, the open one.

Dave Winer:

It’s supporting their downgrading and killing the web. Your post sucks because it doesn’t contain links, styling, and you can’t enclose a podcast if you want. The more people post there, the more the web dies. I’m sorry no matter how good your idea is fuck you I won’t help you and Facebook kill the open web.

Facebook non è parte del web. È un’entità chiusa ostile al resto dell’ecosistema.

Quelle volte in cui riesco a ignorare per giorni i social network, lo stream di notizie, twitter, blog, e a sparire brevemente da altri luoghi sociali della rete noto, come Kottke, che dell’assenza non frega nulla a nessuno:

Not a single person noticed that I had stopped using social media. (Not enough to tell me anyway.) Perhaps if it had been two weeks? For me, this reinforced that social media is actually not a good way to “stay connected with friends”. Social media aggregates interactions between loved ones so that you get industrialized communication rather than personal connection. No one really notices if a particular person goes missing because they’re just one interchangeable node in a network.

La propone Dieter Bohn:

  • Deve essere linkabile
  • Deve permettere l’accesso a qualsiasi client

Con enfasi sulla seconda:

Links aren’t the complicated part; it’s the part where your thing should allow any client to access it. For the web, that rule is pretty clear: whether you use Chrome or Safari or Edge or Opera or whatever, when you click a link or type in a URL, you get the page you wanted (more or less). Those pages are agnostic to the client. […]

When people talk about the “open web,” agnosticism to the client is really at the heart of it.

Anil Dash:

As extraordinary as it seems now, there was a point when one could search most of the blogs in the world and get a reasonably complete and up-to-date set of results in return. Technorati was a pioneering service here, and started by actually attempting to crawl all of the blogs on the Internet each time they updated; later this architecture evolved to require a “ping” (see Updates, below) each time a site updated. On the current internet, we can see relatively complete search results for hashtags or terms within Twitter or some other closed networks, but the closure of Google Blog Search in 2011 marked the end of “blog search” as a discrete product separate from general web search or news search

I social network ci hanno portato i like e un sistema semplice per seguire i nostri amici online, ma non tutto è diventato più semplice. Mentre una volta c’era un sistema per trovare tutti gli articoli pubblicati dai vari blog online, oggi bisogna cercarli dentro ciascun social network, separatamente. Un’altra funzionalità che è andata quasi completamente perduta è il TrackBack — un modo semplice per comunicare fra siti, inviare e ricevere risposte su domini differenti.

Il The Atlantic ha un lungo profilo su Ev Williams, il CEO di Medium (e prima di Twitter, e prima ancora di Blogger). Si parla di open web, e di quello che Williams sta facendo per salvarlo, anche se personalmente non sono del tutto persuaso dal suo discorso (di come e del perché Medium sarebbe diverso — più aperto? — di altri social network):

The open web’s terminal illness is not a story that he alone is telling. It is the common wisdom of the moment, espoused by Times columnists and longtime tech bloggers. The developers who wrote Drupal and WordPress, two important pieces of blogging software, both recently expressed anxiety over the open web’s future. Since so many of these social networks are operated by algorithms, whose machinations are proprietary knowledge, they worry that people are losing any control over what they see when they log on. The once-polyphonic blogosphere, they say, will turn into the web of mass-manufactured schlock.

Something like this has happened before. Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, argues in his book The Master Switch that every major telecommunications technology has followed the same pattern: a brief, thrilling period of openness, followed by a monopolistic and increasingly atrophied closedness. Without government intervention, the same fate will befall the internet, he says. Williams cites Wu frequently. “Railroad, electricity, cable, telephone—all followed this similar pattern toward closedness and monopoly, and government regulated or not, it tends to happen because of the power of network effects and the economies of scale,” he told me.


We need more Firefoxes.

We need more browsers that treat their users, rather than publishers, as their customers. It’s the natural cycle of concentration-disruption-renewal that has kept the Web vibrant for nearly 20 years (eons, in web-years).

We may never get another one, though.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), once the force for open standards that kept browsers from locking publishers to their proprietary capabilities, has changed its mission. Since 2013, the organization has provided a forum where today’s dominant browser companies and the dominant entertainment companies can collaborate on a system to let our browsers control our behavior, rather than the other way.

Brent Simmons:

My blog’s older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It’s seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it’ll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.

The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.

Davide Piacenza ha raccontato la blogosfera italiana, come era anni fa, fra il 2002 e il 2008:

In testa alla carovana degli avventurieri c’erano anche il già citato MantelliniAndrea BeggiEnrico Sola (allora soprattutto Suzukimaruti), Luca SofriAntonio SofiLeonardo TondelliLuca ContiMafe de BaggisGianluca Neri e autori che scrivevano sotto pseudonimi come Squonk,LivefastPersonalità Confusa. Tutte queste voci, che magari a qualcuno non diranno nulla, per buona parte degli anni Duemila hanno filtrato, amplificato e veicolato il dibattito su Internet e l’innovazione. Non è un’esagerazione o un’iperbole: c’erano i blog. Si parlava dei blog. E lo si faceva sui blog. […]

Ci fu l’ondata primigenia di incontri ed eventi ad hoc, tutti con nomi che testimoniano l’ossessione per il nuovo strumento: le BlogFest di Gianluca Neri/Macchianera e, soprattutto, i Barcamp. In tutti questi luoghi prevalevano oggetti, simboli e codici poi rimasti legati a quel mondo: le moo card, biglietti da visita su misura diventati uno status symbol; il caffè espresso tra un panel e l’altro, con annessa occasione per socializzare; l’inevitabile scambio di link alla fine dell’incontro, per sigillare sul blogroll il neonato rapporto. Il mondo dei blog in Italia, essenzialmente, per un certo periodo rimase assimilabile, per conformazione e dinamiche interne, a un gruppo di amici allargato.

Mi ricordo con nostalgia i vari BarCamp a cui ho partecipato. Nel 2006 il sottoscritto aveva sui 15 anni; aveva appena aperto questo blog su (si chiamava Mac Blog) e si ritrovava a saltare un giorno di scuola per finire a Torino, Bologna o altrove per incontrare gente che conosceva inizialmente solo tramite Internet. Ho partecipato a BarCamp, BlogFest e MacDay. C’erano poi le Pandecene e altri eventi minori. Ho incontrato la maggior parte delle persone che oggi conosco e seguo su internet in quegli anni.

Mi ricordo quegli incontri — più o meno chiunque era più grande di me — con la “blogosfera” italiana, mi hanno permesso di conoscere e farmi conoscere da persone che ammiravo (per quanto io fossi poco sociale, e molto silenzioso). Un po’ mi mancano, ma lo spirito e la rete che forma la “blogosfera” odierna non è più quello di un BarCamp — non è più una piccola rete di amici.

Maciej Cegłowski:

What Mao or Stalin could have done with the resources of the modern Internet? It’s a good question. If you look at the history of the KGB or Stasi, they consumed enormous resources just maintaining and cross-referencing their mountains of paperwork. Imagine what Stalin could have done with a decent MySQL server. We haven’t seen yet what a truly bad government is capable of doing with modern information technology. What the good ones get up to is terrifying enough.