Yet another social media rant

The reader of this blog have had to stand a couple of rants about the corporate internet we now live in. It is interesting times and it all happens fast. And some things (virtual wallets and cyberspace) are not happening at all or at least much more slowly than I predicted some 15 years ago. The web is still based on standards (TCP, IP, HTTP, HTML, ECMAscript, CSS etc) but the new main hubs of communication (mostly linkedin, facebook and twitter) are now closed and not accesible with standards based tools. The good old email is still standing strong on its SMTP, POP and IMAP standards although a worrying amount of people are using gmail as their primary private (?!?) email client and server. Giving away our data to corporations in return for directed marketing seems to be a non-decision for most people.

I have been using feed readers based on RSS and Atom for a bit more than 10 years. I think it is a great way of keeping track of web based content. And thinking about it a bit more a thing like facebook could mostly be replaced with peoples own blogs with corresponding feeds. We could all own our data and still collaborate and interact. Sad to say the entry level to sensible technologies are too high. People are not willing to:

  • use a feed reader. If you have a hard time understanding what a feed is……
  • set up their own content provider. Call it (micro)blog or whatever. Most people feel that it is way to pretentios for their needs. They entry level to posting micro events on facebook is so much lower.

Open standards come with a certain degree of pain and we - as technocrats - must admit that we have made it too hard for the average user to get hold of the tools that are available to them. They much prefer to give away their data in return for a nice selection of ads. It is hard to blame them.

Photo by Stylianos Mystakidis