The Lost Infrastructure of Social Media

Core capabilities in the early era of blogging acted as open features for any site, and helped popularize social media itself, regardless of where the content appeared. Many have either disappeared or exist only in proprietary versions on closed platforms, so they only work between sites that use the same tools to publish.

As social networks grew in popularity and influence, the old decentralized blogosphere fell and those early services consolidated, leaving all the power in the hands of a few private companies. That’s left publishers and independent voices even more vulnerable to the control points of a few social networks and search engines.

My hope is that those who are building tools today will see what’s come before and use it as inspiration to help give voice to people on the web in ways that are a bit more open-ended and a little less corporate-controlled than the platforms we have today.

Source: Anil Dash via Medium

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One Reply to “The Lost Infrastructure of Social Media”

  1. Anne McCrossan wrote on Aug 11, 2016 (link):

    The most damaging and over-looked piece of functionality that threatens the idea of the open web, in my opinion, is how difficult it is now to track the source url of images and content posted on e.g. Facebook and Twitter.

    This has made it much harder to credit and acknowledge original authorship. It’s made it difficult to seek out, accredit and connect with people on that basis. It’s blown a hole in the idea that conversations are markets. And it’s put the people power that was originally intended to be at the heart of the social web onto to the backburner. That has been disenfranchised in favour delivering networked supremacy through walled garden content.

    There’s also the damage this does to fact-checking. The post-truth reality we’re living in today has, arguably, also been fueled by it. If we could do something about this, we’d have an entirely different social infrastructure available to us.


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