Getting out there and developing the sites/apps you want to see will bring change. Be proactive. Be the change you want to see.
The article is about a lawyer arguing for 'justice' through highly politicized language. YMMV, but I don't think "The Internet of creation" was hindered for want of lawyers, lobbyists or regulations.
Similarly, sitting on the sidelines and impotently lamenting the state of the Internet today doesn't help. While this isn't detrimental in the direct sense, it is detrimental if the prevailing belief is that changing the current paradigm is impossible.
Creators are still active. New niches for content are still emerging. Entrenched sites/apps are not immortal. Nothing is impossible. It all starts with individual action, one developer at a time. Don't become hypnotized by the bigness of institutions. We've seen solo developers release sea changing software before. Be the change you want to see.
I now have my own stupid blog again trying to add some good old fun and weirdness to the web along with some hopefully useful or thought-provoking posts in between.
I wish we could have a thread (possibly even a monthly thread here, like who is hiring) where people could mention their blogs, web sites etc.
Back when Google+ arrived we did that and I followed a number of interesting people from HN based on that I think.
Maybe it could help us rebuild a mini web of interesting blogs, websites etc.
Me, I'd be particularly interested in linking to pages related to electronics, programming, outdoors (but not slick "travel" blogs) etc. A little politics OK, but not much.
: link in profile should anyone be interested.
Using DDG to search for my name, my website shows up as 3rd result, whereas on Google, the only reason I'm even on the first page is because I was published on Towards Data Science. So using one of the big players was the only realistic way to get some exposure for my tech-rants. It's a sad reality for me.
: https://chollinger.com/ : https://chollinger.com/blog/
I dig the sentiment. Isn’t that what Show HN and posting links to blog posts does though?
The reason I want a semiregular thread is because given the amount of work that goes into many show HNs I guess most people here are wary of posting their blogs as "Show HN".
Posting it in a "Ask HN: who is writing - October 2019" thread might be less scary.
If anyone posts that within a few minutes I'll upvote it (I have enough points so I don't need to start another valuable thread for that.)
I try to compile the sites that people list here: https://www.kickscondor.com/hrefhunt/ I will obviously be mining this thread. ;D
edit: also add my blog! https://blog.chewxy.com
Happens both on Safari on my iPad as well as on my Android phone with Firefox mobile.
Hello and welcome! This mailing list is for authors of technical blogs
and other publications to support each other's work. Feel free to post
questions, drafts for review, and so on.
Also planned: some kind of list of the latest pinboard.in entries from certain tags.
This is such important advice across so many aspects of life in general! It's easy to support a movement that's already started to to gain momentum. Something I think about still from my college days is actually from a sociology class I took as an easy requirement filler (something to do with gender studies, I forget the name).
Summarized, there's rarely a reward for being the vanguard who blazes the trail. Sometimes you might even be penalized because your methods to break into the limelight were extreme and are now hobbling your movement's mainstream appeal. The class's talking point was that there were women who fought their whole lives for the right to vote but never saw it happen or even begin to happen. But their work served to inspire activists of a later generation who went on to succeed. Sometimes we have to plant a garden knowing we might not see live to see the flowers bloom.
Clearly software is a different beast but we too, as an undustry, have things which are mainstream or valuable now but which once upon a time had only their visionaries to fight for them.
For locked down duopoly (85% and growing Google actually) walled garden, that has telemetry for every app launch, install, uninstall, access to every single push notification in plain text and can boot your "niche" app from the Play Store on a whim... Most of those newly connected to the internet are on locked down "smartphones" and not on general purpose computers anymore.
For every objection there is a can-do work around.
Even though i d say that a lot of innovation is stifled by regulatory constraints, the biggest one being: it's too hard to take payments and much harder to pay users. We have the technology to have digital cash on the internet but tax office won't let anyone use it
The US has a regulatory culture of permitting monopolies as long as they are lawfully gained. I don't think this is right. I also think a sequence of monopolies, each living 5 or 10 years, before being overtaken, is also wrong; just because a monopoly is eventually overtaken doesn't mean consumers must tolerate monopolies at their height.
"Being the change" means limiting maximum size and forcing competition through regulation. That's political. I don't think there's any choice at this point if we want to preserve democracy.
I like that I'm not tracking anyone, it doesn't require UI/UX, I have little to nothing to gain from it - it's just a human connection. Something fun we might have seen in the early years of the internet.
There is still an unlimited amount of content, but the rules have changed significantly. And mostly not in favor of users.
The article offers bad examples, but monetary interests and copyright changed the nature of most content.
I don't know that there was ever a golden age of espresso machine reviews online, but I do think that my trust in the quality of information I find through general searches has dramatically fallen in the last ten years. I imagine there is a Facebook group that might have better perspectives, or 'Coffee Twitter', but neither of those are easy to discover through Google, and multiplying my search area across them all (reddit too, I suppose) gets burdensome quickly.
So I'm not sure that the internet of creation has disappeared as much as it may have become hidden. Either within walled gardens or by the professionalization of page rank by SEO pros (against whom Joe's coffee corner cannot hope to compete).
Either way, search suggests a much less creative internet than might actually be there.
Getting a list of hard faults is useful though not exhaustive.
There's the other extreme, relying too much on direct measurements, which can happen at highest end when we don't know which measurements are relevant in what way. (Examples would be mostly luxury - audio equipment, cars, yachts.)
A specialist may be required to make sense of these and they are not easily vetted or found.
Google search I guess is good for entertainment search or “buzzy” things like whatever is trending on the trendsetting social networks of the day, but regular search is too spammy and farmed stuff. Often it’s junk.
I imagine that either "they" (the advertisers/companies) have either already figured this out and are learning how to leave grassroots-looking comments, or they will pretty soon.
I'm curious to see what kind of innuendo they invent for "astroturfing Reddit reviews".
I don't think the question should be "if" it is happening, but how far some companies go (behind-the-scenes) to use human voices not only defend but advance their position.
I sense reddit is full of sock puppets and sell outs. How can it not be?
The worst part is that if they were a bit more skilled about it, it would be indistinguishable from an actual recommendation. Give it another few years.
Some of the old-school web is still around, it's just down on page 20+ of Google and Bing.
To me this feels a bit like saying the music scene used to be better but now it's all calculated pop garbage. But really the music scene is bigger and more diverse than ever, it's just that pop music is what you'll find on the front page if you will.
The surface of anything, be it a city, street, store, product, hobby, etc, will always be susceptible to marketing and manipulation.
If you first-result your way to visit a new country you can easily end up flying to its main city, take an extremely expensive taxi from the airport to some luxurious looking hotel, where a tour company has scheduled your entire stay in various touristic areas and restaurants.
Some people enjoy this experience, and there's nothing wrong with it, but it's a typical first-result experience of traveling.
Probably when the first search result was a hobby page maintained by an espresso machine enthusiast. Those days ended early, but I remember the pre-commercial Web and it was a very different place.
SEO is tuned for Google, making it the inevitable victim of its own success.
Let a thousand algorithms bloom! Maybe we'll get a variety of search engine styles, in the same way we have different blood types to frustrate blood parasites.
> After this brief period of liberalization, Mao cracked down on those who criticized the communist regime.
This is just a ploy by Google to flush out dissenters.
In the early days of the Internet, for example, I wouldn't expect specialized information about, say, car repair to be found online anywhere, because the people who obsessed about that sort of thing weren't online. You did find some really specialized stuff, but it was more serendipity and hit-and-miss. You couldn't count on finding what you need.
These days, we tend to assume it's all out there, somewhere, and we should be able to find it with a simple search, assuming we can figure out the right keywords.
I don't remember the last time I bothered to bookmark anything that way.
"espresso machine" review OR recommend site:reddit.com
"espresso machine" review OR recommend site:news.ycombinator.com
What I mean was: it’d be good if there were more options via, say, drop down menus, or whatever.
I vaguely recall this being a thing in some distant past?
google wants to get paid, blog writers want to get paid, manufacturers want to make sales
the people with the lesser interest in profit (or attention $ instead of quality get buried because they dont make anybody else any money
In the old days, when you joined a community it could be very insular. That's okay, there were communities for everything and everyone. So you had to read the rules, learn the lingo, and shut up and lurk for a while so you didn't invoke the wrath of the mods. Or you were gone.
Anti-social, attention-seeking, spammy, obnoxious or controlling behavior was simply not tolerated. What right did you have to come into another's home and begin making demands as to how they live their lives?
All of that has changed. The above behaviors are the new norm, thanks to the simultaneous nature of the walled gardens of social media and the fact that the walls are low enough that everyone can see into your garden.
Suddenly you have nosy neighbors saying, "Hey, I'll be honest, that crabgrass in your lawn is making it harder to appreciate the beauty of my own lawn. Maybe you should clean it up, everyone else is doing it, so you must be anti-social if you don't.
The entire meaning of the word "anti-social" has completely changed. I would consider most modern online communities to be extremely anti-social.
The only answer is a return to form, going back to individual communities where we can more freely express our opinions, just making sure to network our communities in such a way that compassion and sincerity flourish, and we don't just return to the echo chambers of the 90's (they did exist!).
There are strong opinions here on certain topics that are not to be crossed or you'll be punished by the upper class that is allowed to downvote. A class that has established itself by following those opinions.
Also "newb-style" talk is not welcome also.
This is just as elitist as your average "scene" board these days. Not great not terrible.
However, we do not have a healthy ecosystem, and as such Hacker News comes off as oppressive to those with outlier opinions, because another forum of equal quality (both content and diversity of users), similar size and a similar topic of discourse doesn't really exist. Being banished from HN means being banished from what some consider to be the upper echelons of discussion around the tech and startup scene.
If the outlier opinions have merit, shouldn't there be a forum for their expression?
Why? Because I likened whale poaching to genocide . I didn't even believe I was sharing a controversial opinion, because apparently that is starting a flame war and I've been warned for it before after asking a relatively simple (and apparently naive) question about black holes and getting engaged by a vitriolic and hateful user who kept flagging me while simultaneously calling me names and hurling insults.
But here I am, because Reddit is garbage, 4chan has melted, and niche forums are dying and the bulk of communication is no longer taking place within them. And there are so many amazing and talented people to draw inspiration from on HN.
In my town's local subreddit, I am similarly severely limited to a few posts every couple of hours, because I voiced the opinion in what is apparently a majority conservative subreddit that someone was making racist, unempathetic comments regarding black people and pitbulls.
I'm considering going back to a bunch of email lists...
Visionaries are extremely rare. Most of us follow and copy existing work. All that said, I think your words are a bit too harsh. Average person are not that bad at creating, they are bad at willing to create, they tend to lack the drive to do so.
I think you're confusing not being able to create things with not being able to compete with people who are truly good at what they do.
Everyone can create stuff, it's just that most people aren't very good at it because they've not yet mastered what they're doing. The thing is though, that doesn't matter. If they enjoy the creative process then that's more than enough.
Why should I when all the tools I need are online for free?
And before you tell me something about lifestyle changes, I pay well over $100 a month for various software and distribute around $50 to the local homeless a month. But that isn't the norm and most people can't justify it. Our tech salaries blind us from how the rest of the world lives.
I mean... I contribute to and release my own free software, so at least I'm putting my money where my mouth is? Making things free is a form of economic resistance.
The economy is functioning exactly as intended, I'm afraid.
It's just that next to the internet of creation, there's also a big corporate internet now, and it's pulling in a lot of people and trying to stake claims in parts of the internet of creation. But creation is still thriving.
Okay, maybe that didn't work out so well
> It was presented to us a field in which to find freedoms, boundless creation
Mostly yes. People are instagraming, tiktoking, youtubing, blogging, open-sourcing, unity-unrealing, more people are creating more things than ever before.
> communication that transcended frontiers
Totally true. I talk to friends all over the world. Participate on HN, discourse, discord, slack, email, facebook, etc and it's all free. Some of it sponsored but much of it just plain free, run by volunteers.
> and free education for all.
Pretty much true. What can't I learn about for free online? Pick nearly any topic and there are youtube channels, blog posts, articles, etc all for free on how to do pretty much anything.
It has never been easier to create something online. I ride with random people on a shared ride and they give me a card with a website they created themselves. It's ugly, it's crappy, but it's exactly in the spirit of the internet of creation.
People who created in the 90s were a minority, a small percentage of the total connected. Today, this percentage continues to grow. Though it is still the minority.
The creators in the 90s created because there was very little to consume compared to today. When the creators of the 90s were kids they didn’t consume, because there was little to anything to consume. But creating software was limitless.
Creating content in someone’s platform is different than creating your own HTML experience. Both are relevant... but the percentage of creation should be a default skill of all users beyond working for companies for free to create user generated content to sell.
The Internet used to be about building and sharing things. Then it turned into a giant and mindless message feed where everyone exposes everything about their private lives, intentionally or not.
Now all of the hot new opportunities that exist are to spy on and exploit that data. The latest AI hype is a consequence of the pervasiveness of "big data".
I miss building and sharing cool things instead with the online community.
Now, my 5 year old nephew can do it. Before, it took dedication and creativity to put something together. It's now more difficult to find needles in the haystack.
Now all of the infrastructure is built. Oversaturated and consolidated.
At least the game dev scene is vibrant, even if overcrowded.
Yeah we thought it was great that the internet could connect us to anyone, but it turns out that I only liked that as long as “anyone” was likely to be someone similar to me. Now that “anyone” is more likely to be a brand, an advertiser or an influencer tween... no thanks.
It seems measured elitism is the only answer.
An anecdotal evidence: circa 2000, I published an old French dictionary. I received thousands of emails about it during the first years. Some people just asked about a word, or send their thanks, or noticed some kind of error. Nowadays, the number of visits hasn't changed, but almost nobody sends email. I probably wouldn't answer them anyway. I believe this is an side-effect of a larger change. Maybe writing email is now a harder task. Maybe people aren't used to non-promotion sites outside Wikipedia.
Maybe email was also a lot less tedious back then - it strikes me that these days the main purposes of email accounts are to allow registration with other online services and to hold the huge amount of spam that usually happens as a result of registering for online services.
I don't know many people my age (Gen-Y) who would even dream of using their personal email accounts to actually communicate with actual people outside of places where it is strictly required (like applying for jobs), even less so their friends. They're too used to services run by corporate giants (like FAANG) and are being trained to interact in very specific ways, e.g. in direct messages in apps, in the comments sections or through "Like" and "reactions" buttons.
The whole thing needs to be nuked from orbit.
There will always be a place for truly anonymous discourse. For a time, that was 4chan.
At its peak, 4chan along with half a dozen other forums entirely contained the fountain of creativity from which the modern internet drew its inspiration.
I have been visiting 4chan since elementary school, now well in my twenties, so I have seen the changes over the years. What exists today is a shell of what once was. moot, the resident admin, left some years ago and placed the forum in the hands of a third party with conflicted interests and no interest in proper moderation.
It's also worth mentioning that /b/, the board everyone is most familiar with outside of 4chan, is the one where you hear about all the illegal racist stuff getting posted.
Before /pol/ was hijacked into a nazi version of /b/, it was actually a wonderful place for political discussion. And there are dozens of other topic-specific boards which harbor some very thought-provoking discussion.
History has indicated time and again that you cannot trust a "benevolent dictator" model for sustained positive outcomes, and the consequences when it breaks down can be terrible and tragic.
You're conflating a change in leadership with a defect in the merit of anonymous discourse.
A change in leadership has immediate effect on the discourse, and not all anonymous discourse has equal merit (trading pedophilia pornography being an obvious example of discourse that is more or less universally identified as negative merit). So a change in leadership changes the merit of the discourse that leadership wields a shut-up-stick over.
This is true for literally all online communities, anonymous communities are no different. Lack of leadership and failure to enforce rules always breaks a community down. So yes, you are indeed conflating these two separate issues.
You undermine your point with such obvious counterfactuals. This is not in any way an endorsement of the panopticon - which is exactly what /pol/ wants, just with itself in middle.
It's not unlike people misattributing the quote about the net, censorship, and damage to mean the internet, When it actually referred to USENET (a system that was, essentially, censored by collective action of internet service providers ceasing to store and forward its messages, some because they perceived it as obsolete, some because they believe they would have personal responsibility, morally if not legally, for the way people use the channel).
The simplistic interpretation of the Franklin quote breaks down very quickly when one observes that most of the Founding Fathers agreed significantly with Locke's social contract theory, which is very much relinquishing individual, personal liberties for collective safety.
WITTES: He was writing about a tax dispute between the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the family of the Penns, the proprietary family of the Pennsylvania colony who ruled it from afar. And the legislature was trying to tax the Penn family lands to pay for frontier defense during the French and Indian War. And the Penn family kept instructing the governor to veto. Franklin felt that this was a great affront to the ability of the legislature to govern. And so he actually meant purchase a little temporary safety very literally. The Penn family was trying to give a lump sum of money in exchange for the General Assembly's acknowledging that it did not have the authority to tax it.
SIEGEL: So far from being a pro-privacy quotation, if anything, it's a pro-taxation and pro-defense spending quotation.
WITTES: It is a quotation that defends the authority of a legislature to govern in the interests of collective security. It means, in context, not quite the opposite of what it's almost always quoted as saying but much closer to the opposite than to the thing that people think it means.
However this misunderstanding alone is not a reason on it's own to dismiss Ygg2's statement.
Meanwhile, free people seek themselves safety. Meanwhile, authoritarian groups tend to push for eager to fight risk taking masculinity.
It is not really trade off.
Chan culture is itself a form of addictive gamified social media too, albeit of a much more niche variety. It popularized memes and snark as a cheap zero effort way to get attention and as a "thought stopper."
I started hating chan culture way back in the 'oughts before any of this Nazi alt-right edgelord BS, but none of it surprises me. I saw the way cheap shitty memes and repetitive jokes were overtaking substance everywhere and that the chans were the origin of the cancer.
I still struggle to describe the essence of the chans but I know it when I see it. There is this odd cognitive style and of course jargon and buzzwords. It's almost like a very weird cult... like how people who have had contact with them say you can smell a scientologist.
We'll need to pioneer the next platform for tech to be exciting and fresh again. Probably VR, possibly AR. I'll see you guys there.
Liberally using the 'hide' button also helps, but only yourself. You kind of need to cull out a third of it. One of these days I'm going to make a custom skin that filters out the worst of the hosts that clog up the front page.
Yeah, you might make a bit of money, and yeah, maybe your colleagues, in your sick system, give you a bit of respect.
One day, I think you're going to wake up and realise that you wasted your talents. Like a war veteran who thought what they were doing was right, that the ends justified the means, until suddenly one day it all came crashing down around them.
You have the choice, here and now. You're sitting in front of a general purpose computer. You can make fun and interesting tools - you can make stuff to break down barriers - the pathways you can take your craft are unlimited.
As for advertising taking over the place, it's just getting insane with them being inserted inline in article content and increasing the page load time significantly, appearing at the beginning of videos or, worse, half-way through them, making pages more resource-intensive and less responsive.
The web has never been so widely accessible and yet it has never been more inaccessible.
The internet turns 50 in a week.
I believe most of the shortcomings and abuse of the internet is a result of mass adoptation of the technology without correspnding legislature. Societies just haven't caught up with technology,even well seasoned technologists struggle to grasp the privacy implications and economic complexities at hand. There is also the psychological aspect where the mechanics of the internet are intangible and we have a hard time conceptualizing and grasping these complexities the same way we do tangible constructs. Imagine how complex a physical machine would be if it was as complex as a web browser,but we can see it and we can easily grasp the scale of the complexity and adjust our approach on how to use and secure it accordingly.
We had skype, games, ICQ, MSN, blogs, blog aggregators, rss readers, galleries, audiogalaxy, guestbooks, forums, hotline communications, IRC, video chats, joomla, wikis etc etc in the year 2003. Not much has been added. Video is perhaps the only thing that we didnt have. A big deal but it s not everything. The main change was the format - mobile. The internet today feels less vibrant, less mysterious, with less corners to explore, and it's not because we 've exhausted it all. Even the news have become extremely repetitive, with every site posting the same stories slightly rephrsed. People keep parroting the same obsessive ideas over and over and over in their comments. Everything is memes, and that everything is actually a small number of ideas being produced every day, possibly countable in one hand. You have to dig hard into social forums to find a unique perspective, as the self-congratulating, selfimportant crowds seem to have crowded out everyone else.
Anecdotally, how many sites do you find yourselves browsing daily?
> We had skype, games, ICQ, MSN, blogs, blog aggregators, rss readers, galleries, audiogalaxy, guestbooks, forums, hotline communications, IRC, video chats, joomla, wikis
Signal,whatsapp,ipfs,discord,slack,github,confluence,twitter,twitch,stackoverflow and so much more from a "techie" perspective. But have you considerer how much more accesible the internet has become? Forums were nice but you had to find the right one and once that site shuts you might lose all content and all the people you know there but for most people social media is better. IRC,icq,etc.. Were not very secure,they were not multi media friendly either. You heard of Viber? Super popular in non-western countries on-par with whatsapp. Skype you say? Zoom,webex,logmein and the like make video chat and desktop sharing a breeze. Learning things is so much better too: pluralsight,udemy,cybrary and MOOCs were not a thing in 2003. Free webhosting ,document editing,job hunting anf so much more (excluding things like uber,doordash,instacart that provide IRL services). But more than all that,there are so many more options for just about everything now.
The past always looks shinyand guess what,the internet is even more mysterious now for those who get curious enough!
I think like most you're only looking at the popular sites and apps. E.g.: peertube vs youtube or HN vs Reddit.
Daily I frequent 5-10 sites on a regular basis but I visit a lot more than that when finding external content on those sites,certainly a lot more than 10+ years ago.
- require a phone and phone number to sign up
- lock you in
- will shut down next year unless someone buys them and bastardizes them to oblivion
- are services that replace services that were bought and bastardized (skype). they re bound to repeat the cycle
- arent as popular / dont work (ipfs vs torrents)
- lock content away from search engines
- are basically rehashes of the same idea with much heavier browser footprint for the sake of ... i dont know what really
- Are all platforms - they dont specialize, they force you inside an eternally septembered community . I Liked having separate accounts in separate forums - having many identities is a virtue - and good for privacy
- are Incremental updates. E2E encryption is the one thing that matters, for the rest, we had flash video converence in 2003, and it worked better than webrtc solutions today
- MOOCs are not a successful thing today either though. good that we have all that content, but it wasn't enabled by any of the aforementioned companies.
I m not sure i m convinced we have a fundamentally different - or better - internet today. Everythinig you mention is repackaging. (and we had job ads and lots of free webhosting too btw. You know neocities, they re even named out of nostalgia for geocities, craigslist is still a thing).
Only as ghost towns
> ways isn't less more?
Err, no. Have you used facebook groups, the social groups that we are supposed to use today? Crippled intentionally, abysmally few options, impossible to discover. These are platforms for users who don't care about discourse, they want to come and shout, and shout often, to beat the algorithms. Yesterday's content is already lost. Compare that with even yahoo groups.
> prefer forums with millions
No! But that's what facebook is, what reddit is. Eternal september comes too soon
> for quite a while I used Matrix and
I wish matrix would catch on
> One size fits all doesn't scale.
Exactly . We have one size for everything today: platforms for billions. But it's a bad fit for niche, weird communities.
There's nothing like this today that is simple, financially accessible, and works out of the box. (With maybe the exception of Mobirise, but it has too much free-to-play vibe.)
A little while ago there was an entry here:
"Flash Is Responsible for the Internet's Most Creative Era"
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21242857 and reminded me of Swishmax ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWiSH_Max ), a tool I used around 2003. It was a breeze to use, to create animations. I'm unaware of anything like this today.
In 2005, DC communities shared any content and had vibrant chat communities. Blog didn't immediately meant WordPress, but Pingbacks and RSS worked across them, so websites were able to talk to other websites.
In 2008, Skype worked. File sharing over Skype worked, because it was able to use the local network and went p2p over LAN. Video and sound always worked.
We're nearly in 2020 now, and video conferencing still sucks.
Nostalgia is only a lie of you don't have proof. I still have the installer for most of these programs.
none of this is a creative tool
they are all just iterations of the same idea: streaming content
the last creative tool was, sadly, flash
sadly because it could have been the beginning of an era of open content creation platforms, but it was its end
> But have you considerer how much more accesible the internet has become?
my mom could have browsed the internet 20 years ago, today she can't
she doesn't know how to signup, she doesn't even know what "login with facebook" means
> You heard of Viber? Super popular in non-western countries on-par with whatsapp. Skype you say? Zoom,webex,logmein
Iterations of the same idea.
> The past always looks shinyand guess what,the internet is even more mysterious now for those who get curious enough!
It is really not.
There is just more content of lower overall quality.
> pluralsight,udemy,cybrary and MOOCs
NNTP and IRC worked well enough and they were free
- Past: fewer people online, mostly curious and quirky ones; now: everyone's online
- Past: fewer creators; now: everyone's a creator with an FB/Instagram
- Past: doing stuff for fun; now: doing stuff for $$$ (maybe not all but definitely lots). Thousands of thousands of YouTubers. We're flooded with content every day.
- With so much content to consume, the desire for creation vanishes.
- I also feel like the societies getting more well-off kills the innovation. When I was a student I couldn't really afford many things, so I had to be creative to get around that. Now you just pay a few bucks to some internet giant and all your problems are solved.
- I feel like facebookization killed many online communities. What used to be an independent phpbb board with a logical structure, room for customization and some tools for admins to manage it, became an FB group that is impossible to navigate and manage sensibly, with posts ordered by an algorithm, and which spams me with notifications at the least convenient times.
- Other downside of power grab by FB: I hate when all my real-life friends get spammed by every little post on every shitty FB group I make. This totally killed the anonymity of the net and separation between various communities.
- Societal radicalization means there's more trolls and aggressive people than before, which makes me less keen to engage in discussions with strangers (apart from HN, one of few places that keeps the level).
- I used to read news on the internet to save time (among other reasons). Now with all the heavy ads-bloated, video-bloated, SEO-optimized gibberish content split in 15-pages slideshow, and clickbaity headlines, I think it might be actually more informative and time efficient to read and oldschool newspaper or watch evening news.
- Having said that, maybe it's just the old guard getting old, and having less time to explore -- getting busy with work, families etc.? On Reddit, there are lots of very weird subcommunities I'd never think of. My younger brother still plays Deluxe Ski Jump like it's early 2000s, and hangs out with the other guys who do the same.
To be honest, I think Reddit is to blame more for that. It killed so many specialized communities and forums.
Those would seem to be contradictory statements. There must be desire for creation for there to so much content created.
One thing is the desire to be there (the famous 15 minutes of popularity) another is the will to create
Most of the content is just playlists of content created elsewhere and aggregated by someone trying to make money out of it
Internet content is not even the worst case of hyperoptimization around, nor by far the most concerning. There's something to say about how companies measure and treat their employees. But yes, it's a problem, and very hard to solve.
I don't even understand what is causing it. We aren't in some sudden crisis where we need to optimize everything, and in the end it goes even against its own goal so it's not rational anyway. Yet, it's everywhere.
I also share the sentiment that a lot of the "innovation" online these days is merely skin-deep, but I can't say whether it's just my perspective after being online for 20 years.
Apart from "smart" phones, which had tremendous repercussions for your otherwise remarkable list.
That's an interesting question. If you had asked how often do you use the web my answer would be all day, every day with multiple simultaneous connections.
But browsing? One or two places mostly out of habit and even the frequency of that is declining.
Mostly those have been replaced by FB groups, reddit and other feed based aggregators so that it's interesting for a few hours, then lost (almost) without trace. It relies on you being active enough to see it when it was posted. Even blogs are fading, unless sales focused tied to your company... There's more code out there on github, but that's just one aspect of creation.
I see almost infinitely less lasting creation, with a few remaining islands, but an awful lot more rhetoric and pontificating. Which used to be mostly the easily avoided preserve of some of the newsgroups. :)
1,000 free, open-source blogging platforms on github, but we all just post on Facebook.
Don't get me wrong. We've been manipulated by advertising since the 1850s. The Hidden Persuaders, written in 1957, detailed the ways advertising can manipulate our subconscious to make us do things beyond our control. 'Big Ad' has been a core component of American radio and television since its introduction to the US. When the internet arrived in the '90s, so did a raft of businesses floated solely by ad dollars. Google improved the game with more personalized ads, but this was really just a form of direct marketing, which had existed for a half century.
But most of the things we consume, we do because we are consumers, in a consumer society. We have not been captured by a foreign power and forced to work for nearly nothing, with our lands pilfered for goods to power a foreign nation. We are not 'unsalaried slaves'. We are willfully accepting the trade of services for our attention and our dollars - the same way we did with newspapers, and radio and television programs. We have been selling our attention for cheap for a century and a half, buying whatever crap someone feels like printing.
In most nations today, we have the complete freedom to pay for and use the internet without advertising or restriction. You can pay for an internet connection, pay for e-mail, send and receive files, communicate, etc, all without ever being sold a diet pill, told to vote for a candidate, or having your data changed out to something more profitable. And you can do all of this with the security of a first-world military power.
The global internet is still the most powerful, affordable, un-controlled communications tool in the world. You can talk about empire all you want, but really the only oppressive forces are governments against their own people. Yes, many governments have chilling effects on the rights of their people to have free speech - but those are limits imposed within their borders, and not to the internet as a whole. We still have an internet of creation, and we can still use it to change the world (evidenced by how many nations are rightly afraid of its power to allow people to freely communicate!) The only thing that has left is our imagination, but luckily, no one can take that away from us.
And yet here they are Johhny come lates now coming in to colonize their daft ideas about colonalism and control when they were late adopters.
Privacy, privacy. We've actually developed a self-hosted private cloud solution as a substitute to Dropbox for exactly these reasons. Basically a private Dropbox at home (no complicated installation and no server needed)
We're currently in beta, could interest a few in this thread! https://www.duple.io/en/
The point is to have a product that works just like a Dropbox, as simple and straightforward, but that is actually private with no one interfering, playing, accessing or reading your data.
As time goes on our communications moved towards facebook and teamspeak. And after dropping out of the local gaming scene I stopped operating it altogether -- if I am the only one using a comms-infrastructure its kinda moot, even if it's a federated system. I had some contacts outside of the gaming-bubble but by the time no one seemed to have used it anymore.