Email: Fastmail. But again, just using email less is helpful. My most common form of communication is using text messages to set up meeting in person.
Facebook: Does this even need a replacement? I haven't made any intentional effort to replace Facebook since I stopped using it, and don't feel any sense of loss. The same goes for Twitter/Instagram. The only thing these services ever did for me was make me feel angry, lonely, or inadequate.
Random side note: Stack Overflow has a serious content quality and up-to-date-ness issue. An alternative is using documentation, reading code, and mastering debuggers/REPLs. This gives you a much better understanding of your tools, and gives you much better solutions as a result.
Do you go to parties? Serious question. It's hard to discover events without Facebook these days. It's the only place some promoters advertise.
What I've noticed is that I actually meet people IRL more often now, because the events I get information about are the ones that really matter to me, and they don't get lost in a constant buzz of less important but attention-grabbing stuff.
I also realize I can miss talking to someone. It's a feeling I haven't had in a long time, because people used to show up in my feed every day and it was like they were there anyway. Now I can get a sudden urge to just shoot a few texts back and forth with someone about something that's actually meaningful and not just the usual facebook wall banter.
I'm quite introverted, so being selective is something that suits me well, but facebook also made me even more socially lazy and avoidant than I really am.
Maybe I just have friends who don't care too much, but I wouldn't expect any of my friends to notify me if they're going to a run of the mill event without me, but they would suggest it/notify on Facebook about it. It's a lot less personal, I feel, to notify someone on Facebook than to message someone personally and invite them. Chances are, they'd see I'm no longer on Facebook and think I've gone into some kind of social seclusion.
It also doesn't help solve the problem of me finding something I want to go to (that my friends might be interested in) but they didn't see themselves. There was recently a Studio Ghibli film showing in my city, and after I found it on FB, I suggested it to two friends and we went. I wouldn't have found that event without FB, and even if I did, it would feel awkward (for an equally introverted person like me) to specifically message the two people and ask - now they have some kind of obligation, and they can't claim they just haven't checked Facebook in a while if I sent them a text/Telegram/whatever.
However it has forced me to be more engaged with my friends, since without Facebook they have to make a concious effort to invite me, rather than spot my name on a list. I've spent more time personally messaging and catching up with friends as a result.
Facebook makes keeping up with people frictionless, but relationships thrive on doing it the hard way, and giving up time for each other. Facebook makes it easy to have a thousand acquaintances regardless of how many deeper friendships you have.
I've never really been interested in going to a random party or event I wasn't directly invited to. I mostly got spam when I was using Facebook.
Not all of us use it for reading the 'timeline' and seeing what our friends' cats are doing this week. Organizations also use it for updates, scheduling, sharing ideas, etc. Email could work, but mailing lists lack many little features that make Facebook practical here.
I guess the modern alternative would be something like Discourse, but it's hard to tell a non-profit to replace "free, and add people with a couple clicks" with "$100/month, and make everybody create new separate accounts".
I know it is a silly anecdote, but i end up checking out my facebook feed out of boredom about once every few months, get disappointed in it, and then forget about it for another few months. It also helps that FB has dedicated first party apps for a lot of fb functionality that doesnt require the main fb app. I havent had the FB app on any of my phones since about 8 years ago, simply because i didnt feel the need, not because I felt some strong conviction against FB. Messenger app + Local app (for FB messaging and events respectively) has been a golden combo that worked great for me. Local, surprisingly, has amazingly clean UIUX that combines both event discovery and organization of your current events in a very seamless way.
Just a note, i am not affiliated with FB as a company in any way, and neither have i worked there. I just think that a lot of people tend to focus on the trashy common denominator part of FB (timeline) and ignore the good stuff. And FB makes it really easy to avoid the trashy stuff by having clean dedicated apps for functionality that i actually care about.
For FB if there was something that allowed event planning, but didn't require people to create accounts for it (basically event planning with RSVPs, but handled through email or text).
It'd be nice if this extended to optional accounts that had up to date contact information - this is the main thing I'd worry about missing (though I think Apple could just implement this by optionally pushing changes to the people in your phone with your contact information when it changes).
For Twitter - there's a lot of value if you curate people you're interested in and engage with their tweets. People you would otherwise have no access to and interesting discussions/links/discovery happen there.
Twitter can be great, but requires some effort. I think this would be helped by 'index lists' of users that are interesting to follow for new people (though this would cause a similar bubble issue that financial indexes have) but at the moment looking at someone you find interesting for who they follow is a decent way to find people.
Each with their own search, usually!
I can see the downsides to this, but in trade you're getting a bubble that protects you from a lot of nonsense.
> For FB if there was something that allowed event planning, but didn't require people to create accounts for it (basically event planning with RSVPs, but handled through email or text).
That sounds like a fairly small project, and I can see the value. Maybe I'll code it up in the near future.
> For Twitter - there's a lot of value if you curate people you're interested in and engage with their tweets. People you would otherwise have no access to and interesting discussions/links/discovery happen there.
> Twitter can be great, but requires some effort. I think this would be helped by 'index lists' of users that are interesting to follow for new people (though this would cause a similar bubble issue that financial indexes have) but at the moment looking at someone you find interesting for who they follow is a decent way to find people.
I'll concede this, but in my brief Twitter experience it was very easy for the noise to drown out the signal, and I didn't feel it was worth it to work around that problem. It doesn't solve a data problem I have: my data problem isn't that I don't have enough data sources, it's that I have too many, and too low quality.
Only mentioning this because I personally didn't understand the value of Twitter for a long time and didn't understand why people used it, but now I think I do.
I've had very little difficulty contacting, i.e. academics whose papers I've read, or programmers who have written blog posts.
You do miss some randos interjecting into the conversation, but these interjections detract from the conversation more often than they contribute. When I'm conversing with Joe Armstrong I'm not interested in the interjections of some rando who did an Erlang tutorial once and feels that qualifies him to have opinions.
You also can learn unknown unknowns from things that are shared/discussed.
Direct email contact is great, but has a higher threshold to engage in. I think it’s different than twitter, it compliments it - but I think it’s also a lot less frequent because of that higher threshold.
Let me know what you think!
Can you invite people to events that don't have an account via SMS and have it handled that way or do they need an account and the app?
I think being able to support people not on the app is the big thing I want (then the network may grow or not overtime, but at least it's immediately useful even without other people on it).
One other suggestion would be a default retention period or “fuse” people can set that something like 6 months, but can be set anywhere from 1 day to 1 year.
The other networks make it so hard to scrub old posts, I think there’s value in old stuff getting automatically dropped.
Signup for the app is as simple as possible, just a phone number (to reset your account), name, and password is required.
The reason an account is required is Thread does a lot more than just event planning - it includes messaging, photo sharing, location sharing, and more.
I want to invite people whether or not they also have the app.
One upside of DDG is the bangs. If I know what I want is on wikipedia, just prepend !w.
I think folks need to learn how people searched pre-pagerank.
People treat google queries like a venn diagram with their top result being at the intersection, rather than using logical operators like AND, quotes, and -.
(Ex: "yoda -baby")
Bangs are a common term across DDG users, and can be shared references, personal shortcuts not so much. It's a bit like language as a common understanding rather than individual headspaces. In a sense, bangs are social.
How useful that is or isn't I don't know entirely, but bang-based search seems to be a distinctive class of activity, and gives rise to its own forms of communication and discovery. I've learned (and shared) new sites/services through bangs.
This too in a world where many teams have their own websites, boards and the participants almost uniformly posting their rides to strava. Strava has been trying its clubs / posts stuff with very minimal success sadly :/
When I dumped social media two years ago, I gave my "friends" my e-mail address.
Now, instead of getting an endless stream of reposted political image captions and photos of people's lunches I get messages about the things that are actually worth seeing: news about family, friends, life events, funny stories — all without the dross and anger-inducing cruft of a social media "feed."
E-mail has all of the benefits of social media: photos, group chat, near-instant delivery; with none of the drawbacks: tracking, advertising, stalking, third-party influences.
More importantly, what happened is that I found out who my actual friends are. I think the whole social media "friends" button has cheapened the word. We don't make a distinction between friends, acquaintances, associates, and people we just know. Your real friends will e-mail you.
I'm pretty sure if you replaced "social network" by "ticket tracker", you would had made quite a bit of people laugh here, still here we are, unable to accept that some tools are just much more efficient in a task.
For me Facebook is something where I can reach everyone that I need to reach at once. The sad thing is the best social network is the one that people use. Sure everyone got an email, as this is a requirement to even have a social network account, but it's the usage that people does of it that make it impossible to use it as such.
I remember at nearly every team project at my university, we tried to make Slack happens, or Discord, or whatever else to communicate, instead of Facebook, but the response was never as instant and each time we came back to Facebook, simply because that's what most people in the group were online on at the same time.
Personally my actual usage of Facebook is mostly to quickly organize events, it's only useful to reach "everyone" at the same time. I remember one of the best example of event we organized, it was mid afternoon, I was in class with a friend and we decided to organize a friend gathering that night. We had nothing, not even somewhere to do it. We simply created a Facebook event, we invited about 20 friends to the event, 5 hours later we had a place, we had food, plenty of board games and more than a dozens people present.
Sure we can send 20 emails or SMS, hope that everyone read them in the afternoon, have everyone send a bunch of answers in random order, again hope that everyone read the one that are important mixed with all the random "I'm in". That's 20x more effort for each and everyone involved. At that event, my friend and I were the organizer, and we only had to send an handful of messages, the event was the source of truth easy to follow by everyone. Minimum effort, quick and easy.
Sure we can text you on the side, but the truth is, that add friction for each and everyone that aren't on Facebook. If something get updated and I forget to tell you, well I'm now responsible for you missing the update.
The older I get, the less this kind of thing happen, so yeah Facebook is less important, but that still why I used it, and it's still what makes it the best social network. It allow you more easily, more quickly, and more efficiently to be social.
> Now, instead of getting an endless stream of reposted political image captions and photos of people's lunches I get messages about the things that are actually worth seeing: news about family, friends, life events, funny stories — all without the dross and anger-inducing cruft of a social media "feed."
I would like you to have a talk to everyone grandparents. The amount of emails chains I got from my family when I was younger...
I personally don't really follow people posts, in fact almost no one does them in my friend circle, it's mostly stuff shared from the news, which isn't important.
> none of the drawbacks: tracking, advertising, stalking, third-party influences.
Gmail and Hotmail don't track email and advertise?
> More importantly, what happened is that I found out who my actual friends are. I think the whole social media "friends" button has cheapened the word. We don't make a distinction between friends, acquaintances, associates, and people we just know. Your real friends will e-mail you.
That's kind of weird. Think a bit about it, why would a "real friend" e-mail you? Are you a "real friend" by not sending a message to your friend over Facebook because that's what he use? That would means you are not really a real friend to anyone... I'm sure that's not the case. You didn't found out who your actual friends were, you simply lost actual friends by making it harder to contact you and you slowly made them become acquaintances.
The idea being that people can optionally make accounts with just their contact information which they can then give people access to (this way contacts stay updated by everyone with access rather than local copies on everyone's device that goes out of date).
The app would handle basics like RSVP, sending out SMS reminders for people, tracking number of people coming etc. Right now handling this over SMS and tracking it is a pain so people default to FB, but I think there's an opportunity here to get a foothold.
I reduced my social media usage because they were a huge time sink with the endless feeds, but I agree with you. It takes two to tango, so saying doing so lets one finds out who your real friends are is just condescending imo. Friendships don't start out 'real'; like any relationships, they require constant reaching out to people and be a part of their lives, and this has to work both ways.
I believe that this social networking framework has a great future.
Look at these projects which created using this engine:
GCconnex and GCcollab https://github.com/gctools-outilsgc/gcconnex
There is even a Platform that will make building apps based on Elgg easier https://wzm.me/
Right now this project needs more cotributors to help it develop even more https://github.com/Elgg/Elgg
I read the landing page, clicked about, looked at the first page of the API docs and it's still not really obvious to me what it is for or how it's actually used.
What problem is it solving? Standard web backend for common social media platform stuff?
Basically, yes it's, you can make own online community, or niche social network for your users/products. But this is very useful to make unique social app based on an open source framework.
If you want to launch startup then social interaction between people is very important and Elgg allows you to do it quickly.
In addition, it's very secure code with wide features for growth and integration with other applications.
Federated social media could be the solution.
I tried hosting on my own server, but it's just too much of a time investment for one person.
As for Facebook it is best just to quit. I don't even use Facebook to keep in touch with friends anymore. The value in Facebook is some of the groups. Local neighborhood groups seem to be the best source of information or things happening around your area if you care to know about it. Also different hobbies/interests have local FB groups that are the most active place for discussion with far more users than a small subreddit or dying forum community.
Perhaps I am old but I don't know a single person that uses Whatsapp or Signal. Everyone just uses old fashioned SMS or iMessage if they have iPhones.
This is such a common, but strange attitude to have in these circumstances. Think about how user migration works. It's not like it happens overnight and suddenly your 100% gmail contact list is 100% proton. No, it goes from 100% to 99%, then continues to 92%, then to 75%, and so on. Having this defeatist attitude guarantees that bad actors retain their users.
As an example -- I switched to use Signal for messaging a few years ago. I was the only one in my circle that made the jump. Slowly but surely, people have started to switch over. Today about 10% of my contacts use Signal, and our chats are encrypted e2e. Every few months a few more people make the jump. If all of these people had the same attitude as you, nothing would ever change.
Email, however, is the line item on every single one of my bills (utility, credit, etc.), my mortgage, my doctors, my bank accounts - a cornerstone of what it takes to live in our modern society. Migrating to a new email address is daunting (to me) due to all these arms and legs having had this email address in use for ... 2 decades? (however long GMail has been around). It can be done, but it's a lot more work to go through for the average individual than just installing a new app.
For anyone reading this I recommend using your own domain for your email (e.g. email@example.com). That way you own it and can change providers whenever you wish.
Seriously though, a real benefit you get from an e2ee email when no one you communicate with uses it is that all of your receipts, memberships, newsletter, etc. correspondences are not being read/scanned by your email provider.
For Signal I asked my wife to switch and she did (just for her and I) and we've been using it for over a year. My Dad recently hopped on as well. These things go slow, but when someone close switches it feels nice knowing that all my conversations are private.
Depends on your threat model.
Having all your email in one place is a juicy target.
But the Swiss want a warrant for a specific crime, and then it's my understanding your government needs your password to decrypt the emails at rest.
Not being able to go on fishing expeditions is a good feature especially if you have years of email.
>Perhaps I am old but I don't know a single person that uses Whatsapp or Signal. Everyone just uses old fashioned SMS or iMessage if they have iPhones.
When I explain people can use Signal on wifi and not get any spam calls, many older folks are open to using it. You don't always need to sell Signal on privacy - older folks on a limited income may not have infinite data, being able to use wifi for calls and texts cuts data use and they like that.
It was absolutely not. Skype was before, and many others. If you're talking about general communication applications/medium over internet.
The on boarding was so quick and painless, I feel like that’s what made it spread so quickly.
I have 2 contacts that use signal, one is a VC that I've texted one occasion when we were trying to talk on the phone but Fi was being Fi and he could barely hear me.
I have 2 contacts that have Marco Polo installed for video messages, 1 hasn't been online in over a month and the other is my fiance that's currently living 9 hours away so we use it most days just to see each other.
My brother and mother message me exclusively on messenger, as do a half dozen of my friends even though we have each other's numbers.
Everyone else is regular sms/mms.
Everyone uses SMS (or talks about using Whatsapp but might or might not actually). I was using Google Hangouts long before Whatsapp or Signal started being taken up and now they assume that's what I'd prefer, like that's how I should be communicated with, even when I'd prefer something else.
Facebook is kings because of its market share which is why people use it.
There are ways of communicating with a close group of friends that don’t involve social media but for people who want to keep in touch with a large social circle there is really no alternative.
And far as the gmail replacement goes then it’s by far the easiest thing to find an alternative for and also probably the least important one.
I have a feeling that people who rely heavily on emails to stay in touch also probably don’t use social media so Facebook isn’t an issue for them.
However the problem is that due social pressure it’s a most impossible to drop from a platform without having it affecting your relationships.
Sure people switch as groups and slowly migrate from one platform to another but overall trying to drop X for Y tends result in you using both or quickly switching back.
Which brings me to the question of monetisation. I don't want ads or data collection of any kind so my first thought is to have a basic free account and a cheap premium account that lets you upload and share photo albums and that sort of thing. Thoughts on this strategy or possible privacy respecting alternatives?
I do like the 'address book' concept, though, and have toyed with similar ideas previously - a place for everyone to have a single page 'profile' with links out to their real social accounts etc. But in this age of privacy and tracking awareness, I don't think the average internet user will want to put all their contact info in one place.
The real problem with Facebook is that for most people it's frictionless... it's really easy for people who use it to chat and share with other users. For them, there's no real compelling reason to switch platforms. Asking them to at this point is like trying to sell a mobile phone on a new network that can't dial other networks.
Additionally, an adless "pro" feature could be purchased for some small fee that would be comparable to what ads rake in for the average user.
This is something I've thought about for a while but I've never had the resources to throw it together. I wish you the best of luck!
I think any new social media will fail unless it offers something really different and new (I don't think most people care about using a new social media just for privacy reasons). What makes yours different other than just privacy? The glorified address book does seem interesting but I would need to know more to understand how it will work.
Unfortunately -- Facebook has trained people to expect this feature for free. Not sure there's a simple solution here. But maybe you could release the site unmonetized then work on a paid white-label version for private networks / corporate intranets / etc.?
What would your goal be? To grow like Facebook, go public, and maximize profit? I have no reason that your product/company wouldn't just turn into another Facebook.
Essentially to provide a service similar to Facebook's core offering with a focus on maximising how useful the service is to you instead of how valuable your data is to me. This is why I'd prefer for users to pay a small flat fee and I can just focus on making features people want.
> I have no reason that your product/compny wouldn't just turn into another Facebook.
This is true for now. I have been exploring ideas of setting up the site as a non-profit of some kind or a foundation etc. At the moment this area needs exploring in more detail.
> The whole reason Facebook is evil is they can be since they have full control of the software and your data
Sort of yes. Lot's of companies have (comparable) positions of power while being subjectively less or not evil at all. But the question of becoming evil over time still stands. I'm not of the opinion that software that users run themselves will have any of the adoption required to dislodge something like Facebook and so is mostly a distraction I think. I do think these kind of federated networks will do well mind you, just not for what people use Facebook for. I'm happy to be proven wrong on this front though.
should be easy with upgrade option if storage gets huge, with the option to auto-download / export old data and keep it lean.
I've been thinking of doing this for years, but have not found the right people to box up a wp+bp combo with a couple extra plugins and settings that can deploy automatically like softalicious.. or one of those one-click DO deploy type things
one day.. the pieces are all there already, just gotta put em together.
Google's results just seem less and less useful for the kinds of searches I do.
A recent example: There was a news event near where I live earlier this week. It made national headlines briefly. Yesterday I wanted to know if there was anything new about it. So I hit the duck with my search query and it showed newspaper web sites that had updated the story about three hours before, and some TV web sites that had stories from the previous night.
I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything, so I did the same search in Google. Big G's results were all at least three days old, and most were re-posts of re-posts of re-posts published on random web sites on the other side of the planet.
So, I continue to use the duck. And I've learned a lesson that I really shouldn't second-guess myself and think that maybe Google, with its trillion dollars to spend, isn't any better after all.
That being said, I still wish there were more alternatives. I have a lot of RSS feeds and there are big lists of tech blog RSS feeds. At some point I just want to index all of those so I can search for recent tends in the blogs of independent tech people rather than the big articles.
That said I try to use DDG when I can but I don't lie to myself that I'm using it because it has better results -- it doesn't. It has better approach to privacy and thats why I use it. The fact that they know less about the searcher intrinsitcally means the results of searches will be worse.
These threads always follow the same patterns, someone asks if they know of an alternative search engine and a HNer quickly mentions they have gone to DDG and haven't looked back.
DDG is decent but not even close to the search quality of Google. I know the folks here want to see Google dethroned but DDG won't do it.
Google provides great results for common old-ish and repeated questions but you will notice less diversity - which can be pretty frustrating when you aren't looking for a definite answer.
You will find that it will give you old results from w3schools, codeacademy, SO, etc.
Some of which shouldn't go into production...
let's force the titles:
That's completely broken, the titles contain none of the three things asked for.
yeah, I am not hopeful with duckduckgo either. I mean, Google is just as bad but I am pretty dismayed by the results these days.
I have - I found the results far less useful than Google's, the whole experience far more frustrating and it noticeably slowed down my work.
Cynically, I wonder if Google has gotten to the point where they realize that serving the absolute most relevant results means they sell less ads. Of course, I don't think anyone is ordered not to make search quality better, just that incentives/resources get reallocated to things other than ten-blue-link quality.
1. Search DDG. If I find a decent result, I stop here.
2. Append !so to the end of the search. This searches StackOverflow directly. If this works, I stop here.
3. Append !g to the end of the search. This searches Google directly.
This way Google becomes a last resort.
Also worth noting that you can actually navigate DDG search results using vim keybindings without the need for a plugin: something Google dropped support for a few years ago.
Small little things like that are a pain to work around and something I take for granted in Google search. It's taken a long time for Google to get so good at what it does. I notice that if I am watching a YouTube video and then go to Google to search for something related, the autocomplete basically knows what I am likely to search for. Say what you will about that but it is pretty amazing technology.
I think at this point it's too late to save my privacy. I am apathetic and resigned to hoping the future isn't as dystopian as it is often feared to be.
Yandex is another site I've been using for reverse image searches. I find it to be better than Google and Bing. Bellingcat has a great article on it, https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/how-tos/2019/12/26/guid...
But the fact that there are community-maintained bangs is really nice. Bangs for all kinds of websites I probably wouldn't have made, but there they are. And since I'm often jumping on new computers, I don't need to bring/import my preferences. Just change the browser's search to DDG, then all my known bangs (and unknown!) are there.
Google takes you straight to the online installation at https://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/
DDG finds this: https://publications.opengroup.org/c181 where the "Read HTML Edition Online" button is a non-working dud.
Still switching to DDG for most searches, though.
Didn't someone demonstrate pretty conclusively that underneath all of the specialization it was just bing?
They also claim to have their own web crawler but I've never seen it crawl any of my pages before.
These days search engines are supposed to be able to surface and present information from sources without user intervention. DuckDuckGo cannot do this (yet).
Instead of thinking that I must use the best search engine, regardless of the ethics of its business model; think that I will use the good enough search engine from among those with ethical business models.
Edit: I would additionally like to add that Google's search quality peaked early to mid 2010s, so DDG is not far from peak known search engine quality.
DDG will answer some directly, like "10 feet to meters". Could be better.
As for Facebook you're fighting against the greatest network effects in the history of mankind.
Android is just simply unreplaceable, but it's FOSS at least.
Also, Android being “simply unreplaceable” depends on the person, their needs and what they can adapt to.
Now if I could get people to put useful videos someplace other than youtube.
Fastmail may be cheap enough for one mailbox for one person. But when you need multiple mailboxes (not aliases), the services mentioned above come out significantly cheaper.
Often? Is this common? Me and the circle of people I know (friends, family, acquaintances, extended family) have had the same number for a number of years and seem to not have lost my phone number recently, as far as I know.
Doesn't help my trying to get to arbitrary places, but when arbitrary people are trying to get to me it helps a lot.
Google is fairly easy to replace. Aside from occasional second-opinion searches the only google service I use is Gmail and that only from remote clients... I should replace it but I’m just a bit lazy.
Concerning social media, you don't really need it: https://www.quitfacebook.org.
If you have been watching the news this week about Jeff Bezos.. I don't like that someone can share a message/picture/video on WhatsApp and crack into a phone. There are too many closed source vendor components in an Android phone even if you're using an open source phone OS like Lineage OS, and these may go stale over time or have something vulnerable in them on purpose.
WhatsApp always seems to need a phone. It works in a web browser in an inconvenient manner that still needs the phone to login. It is a centrally controlled system. While Signal is open source, it is also centrally controlled. I prefer and hope Jabber implementations get much better. Spam for Jabber can be managed the way it is managed for email. Some spam would get through, but it does on WhatsApp too.
Email hasn't gone away or lost its place because it's federated (distributed). It works on multiple platforms, and if you don't like a particular way of doing email, there are a lot of choices. Jabber is similar for instant messaging, but it can do with a renaissance. (I use Jabber at work and home, but the clients I use such as Conversations don't have the features and experience that WhatsApp/Telegram do.)
The oldest and most used services are federated - HTTP, email.. and at the start of a communication - DNS.
WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. are very entrenched services. It's not enough that you move from WhatsApp - your family, friends, businesses that you work with, all have to use the new service you are switching to, so you can chat with them on that other service.
It's easier to switch your search engine. :) DuckDuckGo has worked very well for web search for me. I use it about 95% of the time and Google Search the other 5%.
This is all so valuable that I just can't walk away from it. I would be completely cut out of local events. The news media does an extremely poor job of reporting - and we have an unusually vibrant local news sector (I think in no small part because we have such an active political and governance community on Facebook).
So much of it is network effect, I just don't even know how we'd go about creating it in a new service, even if a new service were created that served the purpose better.
I wonder how many people donate to/pay for/enable ads on DuckDuckGo, for example.
So, I hope any new social platform or communication platform has a public interface.to communicate with its replica. Mastodon can be an example but it is not widely spread yet .
For search there are a few, DDG is the best known imo, however, none of them is as good as Google's search engine, especially when it comes to Hebrew (my mother tongue).
As for Facebook itself, the problem is that it's offering now a combination of social media, photo storage, discussion groups and an IM platform - to name a few. It's not easy to make an alternative to something so complex.
“We’re building an open and humane alternative to Facebook”
> Keep some posts back for paid subscribers.
This is not what I want in a Facebook alternative.
Seriously? And they call this "planetary"?
For anyone looking for something there is Diaspora.
For a twitter alternative check out Mastodon.
The only thing that could do that- is another layer around the whole eco-system, that subverts it and surplants it. I can not see anyone of the alternatives trying this.
Those who pose a real danger (instagram, using the want for generational different medias) are bought.
The only way to escape, is to encourage institutional blindness in big companys. Convince microsoft that a desktop windows needs to be on there cellphones and tablets.
Convince google that no product except of search is actually viable- and these little turtles should all die fast before even reaching the ocean.
Tell facebook, that all that is longterm sellable is user-data, not user-usefullness.
The best way to archieve a new competitor, is internal self-sabotage of market dominant forces.
One search is sent to multiple search engines and results shown as one. Just go to settings and select qwant and ddg.
Whether i send queries to Google from my browser, or from my own hosted Searx instance, it's the same thing: a query from one of my static ip-addresses to Google (or other search engines.)
It seems to only make sense if this Searx instance is public and your queries are mixed with others. And in that case you have to trust whoever runs this Searx instance won't sell your data just like Google does.
I seriously doubt that, because the % of people using Searx is very small compared to for example Chrome. This should make you very unique in terms of fingerprinting.
Also note that simply changing the User Agent is possible in a browser as well, you don't need a self hosted Searx for that.
(And no, in my house nobody uses chrome or any google account. They dont need to, they have all the infrastructure, but one of members is complaining from time to time why he doesnt have google play on his phone... :D)
For tech savvy people it's really easy to self-host https://github.com/spantaleev/matrix-docker-ansible-deploy and the good part is that you can set up bridges to telegram, whatsapp, facebook, irc, discord, slack... So you can use those apps privately while waiting for people to switch to better alternatives (which may never happens sadly).
Bonus: the desktop app is a rather lightweight web app usable in browser, so goodbye RAM eating monsters like slack and discord.
The "I missed message because I only use xxx for that one thing" is valid for every app as long as you have fragmentation in the messaging space I think. That's why I like the idea of using the same client for a multitude of services through bridges, and not forcing people to necessarily use your network (even if they should :p)
The docs there for E2E are fairly old but get you an idea how it works. E2E has improved a lot in the last few months IMHO.
I remember when fbk would send messages to everyone, some of my clients had a hundred emails a day from fbk in their inbox, and they were checking in several times a day, now it's become a habit regardless I think for most.
I hated emails from fbk and turned them all off long ago, but some people seem to like that kind of thing, so we might need options, and options for those who want a reminder but not a bunch of reminders everyday.
It was a while ago, but I also seem to remember delayed messages.
The audio quality was nice though.
There are also other basic issues with Signal (message deliverability, buggy and spurious “device number changed” notifications, etc.).
Note that I do use Signal and advocate it, but I do that with only certain people so that I don’t burn my personal “relationship capital” unnecessarily with a poor solution.
He's had to adopt a local SIM card over there for security purposes (Russia's listening) and uses WhatsApp regularly. He asked me to pick it up, and instead I referred him to Signal.
This was [part of] his recent response:
I downloaded signal but they want to confirm my number but my sim card doesnt work over here and my european card is data only.
So that is one blocker for sure but otherwise I always push people to Signal as a reasonable alternative.
 The native desktop app is even better than WhatsApp's (doesn't stream data from your phone).
Group chats are also fairly decent on Signal, I just wish there was a way for an "admin" to exist to moderate users in the group.
Except my friend's gf could never really see when messages were using data or SMS. And my friend put a stop to the experiment because the linux client was leaking RAM like a dam and we both had sync problems between the phone and the desktop client (we are both huge telegram users for the smooth experience when connecting to your account and for syncing. We both despise the privacy risks though).
It is private. Create a channel and invite your friends. Thats it.
Disclaimer: I work for them.
With respect to interruptions/noise it doesn’t have any advantages over Slack.
The public probably is not able or willing to pay for extremely valuable instant global communications service that handles audio, video, photo, text, and other data. Regardless of who owns it, I know that my network of people across 4 continents derives great value from the free service.
Of course, that promise is worth less than $20B as we found out.
The founders were being disingenuous when they said the data wouldn't be used for ads.
Couldn't find how to achieve that. Anyone knowing if this is possible?
[I expect that's too many hoops for your use case though ;]
The Twilio API is in beta, and you can sign up. Don't know what pricing will be, but maybe for individual use a dev subscription may be sufficient
Here is the API reference:
Though, getting your own business-API would be cheaper, I've heard WhatsApp is very picky about granting those and instead prefer you work with a third-party partner instead .
Then, there's click-to-chat for simpler communication if the client's WA number is known .
Not as good as an auto responder but at least people would see it when searching for you in the app
I’d also recommend services like Signal for secure, private messaging.
WhatsApp before getting bought by FB was begging for money and is my understanding that it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Public had a choice of free(as in beer) products vs privacy. We chose the former.
The way I look at it, if not even Google can beat FB at personal social networking (Google+), then FB has a monopoly and this is not a free market. Sure, anyone is free to start a startup and try to do what FB does, but I mean...
I suspect the only reason the government hasn't gotten involved in this matter yet is because FB offers seemingly non-essential service. A different situation than Microsoft and browsers.
Unfortunately, they might not understand privacy concerns, but even if they did, they don’t have the language fluency or technical capacity to verify the claims of security.
Free Markets are.
Capitalism is about the means of production being held in private hands - but those private hands still do their best to own all of the means of production and to lock out potential competitors.
The two get conflated (free markets and capitalism) but they are different beasts. In fact, you can have a free market socialism (tried semi-successfully by Yugoslavia). But ensuring free markets via regulation is how to keep Capitalism from becoming a Gibson novel.
a) Also using competition, prices and money, but with factories, companies and lands organized by worker's cooperatives, with the profit shared according with some logic not based in mere property.
b) Using only prices and money while keeping updated data about production and consumption, and updating prices based in these data. Perhaps easier with modern technology than in the past. The information about these things can propagate in wires and communication means like the other kind of information that the society needs.
Item b) sounds like capitalism and blockchain to me :)
About item c), heuristics and politics don't go well together, according to my intuition.
But these are just my opinions. This is a fascinating topic.
Capitalism is not naturally stable and it needs regulation to work to the benefit of most people. Without that, the capitalists work to destroy capitalism in order to benefit themselves.