I have a feeling the market forces forcing Google, Facebook, et al into an arms race after your privacy and personal life will motivate people to leave more and more in favor of small players that do one thing well.
I expect people here will see the writing on the wall first that the sooner you get out the better. Yes, social networks have benefits, but they have costs too.
Deleting Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc accounts improves your life. Deleting them earlier improves your life earlier.
All Google had to do was go under the Facebook tree, and pick up dropped users off the ground. It really didn't need to go climbing up the tree to pick them off the branches.
As they're climbing the ladder, their own users are falling out of the baskets.
Corny analogy aside, they're not even doing a good job integrating mail, youtube, google, google+. I can't count the number of times I meant to click "Settings" for youtube, and ended up going to either Google+ or Google setting.
If they'd just backed off in the nymwars, WE'D ALL BE OVER THERE NOW. Fucksakes.
I truly believe they are opening a gap that others could exploit. Microsoft, so late to this party, with their userbase and technical know-how, with a lot of their ill deeds from the past forgotten or forgiven. If they decided that they are going to do it right, and not try to exploit users, they could become a threat again. I wonder if they are capable of this anymore though.
Or, reddit, with their substantial userbase of young, technically advanced, and influential users - if they could figure out the scalability issues, they could launch a youtube competitor, for example, and LOTS of people would move there very quickly, even if it is not as good, because they are (so far) known to be pure, whereas google has now proven that is is not pure, and dishonest (do no evil).
It's certainly not easy, but my point is, it's a lot easier when influential and vocal technical users have turned on you, and the degree to which they've turned.
Yep, Yahoo! has a lot of chances of screwing it up, but it's also the largest online pseudonymous social network I can think of.
The tone of reddit is set more by downvoting rather than upvoting. Any post on proggit about any language people actually use gets voted down by an army of bots written in languages that people don't use. Also, they're a bunch of communists because they'll vote you down if you drop any hint that (1) you're in it for the money or (2) you care about business in any way.
Reddit's negativity might make it spam resistant, but it will repell mainstream audiences and prevent their expansion.
The sort of political and organizing power reddit has shown recently (say, with the SOPA campaign) is not thinkable on facebook or google+. An AMA on reddit has also become a required stop for actors/directors/authors etc. for promoting their latest projects. G+ can only dream of such reach and power and facebook is by design (and branding) not suitable for such "interactive-broadcasting" type of usage.
now, if you want to start to discuss effectivenes instead of size, take a look at slashcode voting system.
In Firefox, if you have DDG as your default search:
ctrl-k (next thing you type will be a search)
!g (A DDG "bang code," in this case "search google")
whatever (this search will be sent to google)
DDG gets better and better every day. I noticed recently that if you search for a street address DDG gives you a map result from open street map, and gives you links to bing, mapquest, google maps and open street map. It's great.
And btw the DDG bang code for google maps is "!gm" and the bang code for google news is "!gn".
Well, that and it was a pretty vacuous experience.
<cough> AOL <cough> <cough>
I would go on a tangent to this, that I never got any actionable information or other life improvement from facebook. I tried, really hard, for six months, to participate and get something out of it, but it was just a huge time waster so I wiped it.
Although supposedly youtube is only (or mostly) used for trash talking comments on kitten videos, I have occasionally gotten actual useful data and experiences from youtube. Programming screencasts and the like. Also the videos I watch and comment on are of a professional-ish level I like being associated with.
So I'm finding the outrage hard to generate. If the whole world finds out my real name liked a university video lecture about simulating a vibrating 2-D plane using multiple stack computers solving differential eqs instantiated on a FPGA as a lab exercise at Columbia, well, I'm not going to ragequit youtube over it. In fact I think thats just great.
Its their property; if they want to drastically change its culture (to something I happen to prefer) its hard for me to feel bad about it. There was a cheesy falling apart barn nearby the Interstate not too far from where I live. The new owners painted it; outrage from traditionalists who would rather see it torn down than painted. What do I care, other than I happen to like the new paint job? If the complainers don't like it, they can put up their own antique barn and let it decay unpainted, or they could have bought the old barn.
The original author didn't like that the rabbit bathing video site decided to dump him, so shout out, you can't dump me because I'm dumping you first. Well all this high school dating drama is amusing for me to watch, but I have a FPGA video to get back to watching. And if someone finds out, that's OK with me.
Unlike facebook, youtube can demand a fair trade because its content is actually worth something. OK here's my real name, now let me watch something useful.
This might be the end of youtube as we know it, as a complete waste of time, I mean. It doesn't mean the end of the site.
Again with the "it's their right to do whatever they want with it, so you can't complain". First of all it's perfectly fair for people to complain or criticize a service. Especially if they use it a lot or depend on it. It's certainly frustrating to use a website for years and be forced to leave it or deal with the changes.
Second YouTube is basically a monopoly. There are not many other video sharing sites, especially with lots of viewers, to post videos on. And for viewers almost all the videos on the internet are hosted on YouTube and most content creators. It's not like we have much of a choice to just go somewhere else if we don't like it.
At one point, the comments were probably really useful to YouTube. They probably increase the virality of the content, before Facebook and Twitter provided new ways to share. But now, it's a liability. Advertisers don't want their product to be juxtaposed with unaccountable commentary, and advertisers are the ones that finance the whole enterprise, for better or for worse.
I'm really glad Google finally decided to do something about their video comments. They host some of the vilest commentary I've seen on any mainstream site.
I'm not aware of advertisers ever caring about comments and if so that's absolutely ridiculous. Keep in mind they also allow anyone to post videos of anything at all short of porn and place adverts right over that. Plenty of forum sites have ads as well. I really doubt that was ever an issue and it's incredibly silly if it was.
Fixing the comments doesn't require removing anonymity or even censorship.
The problem with youtube comments is that it was a huge mainstream site open to everyone. Unlike niche communities that filter out certain kinds of people just because they don't go to the site. Second there was no sorting of comments at all. Anything anyone posted immediately appeared at the top. Like and dislike buttons had no functional use, they were a joke.
And the comments still suck and they always will.
But the racist idiot posting the most vile and offensive stuff you have ever read is going to sick around because he enjoys doing that.
It sort of sounds like another one of those "I'm 22 and don't understand why other people can't just be true to themselves and don't want their real name associated with every single thing they've ever said or done" rants against old people, but I wouldn't slap that accusation on you.
I think people just want to say things sometimes without it hanging around forever. Like yelling out something funny in a crowd. What's wrong with that?
Sorry for responding late. TLDR of my long post is its a privacy market. The trade happens when both sides think they're getting the better half of the deal at the same time. FB is a classic privacy market which I got almost nothing from, so I'm not willing to trade more than a microscopic amount of privacy for it, in fact I'm not willing to participate at all. On the other hand, I feel I get substantial "stuff" in exchange for giving up some privacy on youtube, there actually is some worthwhile stuff there, so I feel its a fair trade. This market making balance varies pretty widely across different people at different sites. I could have just as well used HN as my example of trading off privacy (however little) vs what I get out of it (which is a lot) but FB is the standard market player for privacy discussions, so...
On the bigger picture, I suspect those who run YT know what they're doing, and this is a reasoned decision. You must give up this much more privacy to trade, means they are hoping / expecting the value of whatever videos they're shipping will improve to make it worthwhile. Or they just can't monetize anonymous cute cat video comments anymore so abandon that market sector, which is frankly not much of a loss to humanity.
I'm learning a few instruments, and I find a lot of instructors use youtube for that. (Although I'm finding I prefer instructors' vimeo videos when they do it that way.) Some of them are very good. As long as youtube lets me view without logging in, I'm happy. I'll react in some rational way if they change that.
Then there are the video you can't watch from third party websites and from certain regions and so on.
It is an improbable possibility that google will require to be logged in to watch youtube videos, but it's still could happen one day.
Eh, I think this idea that we must live our whole life in public (to the /same/ public using the /same/ identity) is a bit insidious. Especially in these days of "cultural fit" - it leads to this idea that you need to spend your private life in service of your professional life.
If you have an unpopular hobby or sexual proclivity, keeping that out of your professional life, in many circles, could be even seen as polite; At the office? nobody wants to know about your love for furry fan-fiction.
Sure, cute cat videos are different from furry fan fiction, but... if I'm "following" you? I will "unfollow" if there are a bunch of cute cat videos. I mean, unless I'm following you for your great taste in cute cat videos. More to the point, if I'm evaluating you and, say, your long screeds advocating a political cause I find particularly distasteful keep coming up, I might have a hard time evaluating you rationally, on your skills. (Also, if I'm hiring you, I want you to be able to leave the bullshit at home. Leaving the bullshit in another identity helps with that sort of thing.)
I really think that multiple identities is the solution. You can have your cute cat picture identity, your furry fan-fiction identity, your radical socialist identity, and your professional programmer identity. I can choose to follow the identity I find interesting. I mean, yeah, if someone /really wants/ to connect your furry fan-fiction identity to your professional programmer identity, they can. However, if you practice proper identity hygiene, it becomes much easier for me (or another third party) to interact with the professional programmer, without dealing with your hobbies I have no interest in, or maybe even find distasteful.
Most of the "real name" folks seem to think that by making everything public, we will see that we are all weirdos, and become more accepting of our differences.
I guess that's my prime problem with the 'real name' folks; I think that it's just fine to do business with, or even relate socially to folks that have hobbies or political views that I believe are downright wrong. I don't think that 'acceptance' is required for that. I think that you can like and trust one facet of a person's personality, without liking other facets of their personality.
I want to be able to say "I think this person is a great programmer" without implying that I also endorse their badly written Spock/Kirk slash fiction, or their half-baked anarcho-capitalist political rants.
Personally I'm a big fan of encouraging the use of real identities for reputation management in online communities instead of relying on fake Internet points. We'll have to wait and see how it all shakes down!
For me personally? I use my real name for most things. It's convenient. And in a "cultural fit" world, well, I am a "cultural fit" for my profession, so why not run with it? Nearly everything I've done online in the last decade has been under my real name.
That's the key, though. Being a 'cultural fit' means that the community is unlikely to have a problem with my personal life, and if they do, it's likely to be a minor sort of thing.
Edit: forgot to mention, you have to explicitly connect the G+ Page to YouTube.
My point is that I may have 'cat video friends' who, you know, are in to that sort of thing, with whom I may wish to share these sorts of things.
My point is that while it's fine to have my cat video friends, I ought to have the option of not sharing my 'cat fancy' with other groups who may look down on that sort of thing.
But there are lots of ways to share YouTube videos, forwarding a URL being one that does not even require any YouTube account or bookmarking for yourself to load it up later.
EDIT: Here is an example: https://siracusa.cupcake.is/profile.
Still, people like stranger-to-stranger social media as well, like with Instagram. I suppose that functionality will always lie with a third party, since no privacy can be assumed in that case.
One way to publish it would be to have your front-end platform act as a subscriber to posts with some type of "published" flag. This sort of paradigm would be amenable to having multiple aggregators acting as the front-ends for syndicating content.
Comments on your posts would themselves be Tent posts, created by readers and hosted in their own Tents. Readers could have some of their conversations on your content publicly, but could also @-mention other users by Tent Entity URL to have private conversations within their social groups.
I really think the sky is the limit, because the system puts the data in the users' wheelhouses, and there can be all sorts of innovation in presentation and interactivity, decoupled with many of the concerns about storage.
Platforms could still monetize post content that they create and mediate, it's just that users would be able to choose the platforms that serve them best, rewarding those providers.
I think there's probably a lot of stuff to figure out still, but I'm very excited to see where this goes.
the only alternative model is decentralized, encrypted and pseudonymous/anonymous. Maybe something along the lines of btsync, btchat mixed with pursuit .
I think you are oversimplifying the pros/cons of social media. Facebook and LinkedIn are incredibly useful as networking tools if nothing else. I can maintain a network of people in many different cities and countries and keep up on family/friend developments without talking on the phone for hours. Plus it makes sharing things like articles, photos, and videos much easier. The list goes on and on...
As for privacy? Well, celebrities live with the absence of privacy as a requisite of becoming famous. We enjoy a free service with the implicit agreement that we are giving something of ourselves in exchange--our eyeballs and personal data for ads. It's up to you to make that choice, but you can't whine when you enjoyed a free service for so long.
Then being hired to uncover people's identity from their online activity in times before so called "social networks" were coined led me to never register on friendster, myspace or any other followers of this trend.
I failed to see the benefits of linkedin which still spams on a regular basis (if anyone knows how to stop receiving emails from linkedin...) and saw where facebook was headed in their attempt to be the new msn which for those who remember was microsoft attempt to destroy the internet by replacing it with a microsoft owned network which came bundled with windows 95.
I value freedom, therefore privacy, I refuse to be the product being sold and hate with a passion anything ads-based for I have experienced the web before ads which is the vector from which privacy invasion and surveillance came to be.
For some reason people started to offer money to display ads banner on websites but asked for at least a way to count and track clicks on those banners and It's been all downhill from there.
For those who read TAZ by Hakim Bey he put the end of the potential of the web to put the people in power around 1996 when ads came to the web and turned it into a surveillance tool.