Dries Buytaert, the originator of the Drupal CMS, is pulling the plug on Facebook. Having made the same observations I did, that reducing FB engagement leads to more blogging. A year ago he set out to reclaim his blog as a thinking-out-loud space, and now a year on quits FB.

I’ve seen this in a widening group of people in my network, and I welcome it. Very much so. At the same time though, I realise that mostly we’re returning to the open web. As we were already there for a long time before the silo’s Sirens lured us in, silos started by people who like us knew the open web. For us the open web has always been the default.

Returning to the open web is in that sense not a difficult step to make. Yes, you need to overcome the FOMO induced by the silo’s endless scrolling timeline. But after that withdrawal it is a return to the things still retained in your muscle memory. Dusting off the domain name you never let lapse anyway. Repopulating the feed reader. Finding some old blogging contacts back, and like in the golden era of blogging, triangulate from their blog roll and published feeds to new voices, and subscribe to them. It’s a familiar rhythm that never was truly forgotten. It’s comforting to return, and in some ways privilege rather than a risky break from the mainstream.

It makes me wonder how we can bring others along with us. The people for whom it’s not a return, but striking out into the wilderness outside the walled garden they are familiar with. We say it’s easy to claim your own space, but is it really if you haven’t done it before? And beyond the tech basics of creating that space, what can we do to make the social aspects of that space, the network and communal aspects easier? When was the last time you helped someone get started on the open web? When was the last time I did? Where can we encounter those that want and need help getting started? Outside of education I mean, because people like Greg McVerry have been doing great work there.

13 reactions on “Return to the Open Web! vs Join the Open Web!

  1. Return to the Open Web! vs Join the Open Web! by Ton Zijlstra

    Dries Buytaert, the originator of the Drupal CMS, is pulling the plug on Facebook. Having made the same observations I did, that reducing FB engagement leads to more blogging. A year ago he set out to reclaim his blog as a thinking-out-loud space, and now a year on quits FB.
    I’ve seen this in a wi…

    Repopulating the feed reader? Never left it. Returning to the open web? Never left it? Dumping Facebook? Not gonna happen.

    It makes me wonder how we can bring others along with us.

    I don’t think they want to (or care) come along? I shop at the mall because the flea market is a smelly noisy mess and the quality of the products/services are poor. Caveat emptor. I expect that’s why walled gardens (or should that be malled gardens) do so well.
    The first walled garden, AOL, got my wife and her family on the Internet. It was easy for them to use and understand. They’ve never blogged and have never wanted to. They want to go to that place “where everybody knows your name”.
    Why are many people (it’s starting to sound like an echo chamber) thinking about “saving” people? I see articles that remind me of those evangelical Christians who would bark out to me as I walked across the step of the Georgia Tech Campus. “Unless you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you can not be saved”. It didn’t matter if I was happy doing what I was doing. I needed to be saved from myself.
    It’s as though the default assumption is “those people must be having a bad experience”, let me save them. Let’s write a piece about how much I hate Facebook. Make sure to mention some person few care about who has recently deleted their account. Let’s all nod our heads in agreement. Let’s ignore the fact that far more people are enjoying Facebook/Twitter and find utility in it.

    When was the last time you helped someone get started on the open web?

    Shall I force it on them? Shall I be the arrogant tech geek who looks upon them with pity that they are not enlightened? Shall I show them Mastodon and when they say, “but … none of my friends are here and the user experience sucks”, tell them, “it’ll get better. just make new friends among all these random people you’ve never met?”
    Or … I can say, “Hye, I’m doing this cool thing that I feel gives me the freedom to express myself. I fully own it and the content on it. Would you like to join me?”.
    As my wife likes to say when someone makes a face and comments negatively her favourite foods, “stop yucking my yum”.

    via islandinthenet.com

      • Hi Khürt. When I still had sharing buttons underneath my posts, I had the same issue: they all appeared underneath my webmentions on other sites. It’s primarily an issue of how the receiving site then loads and stores your post that contains the mention. (I had one site that took my entire page, including sidebars and site footer.) But I ended up assuming it was because my sharing buttons ended up within an h-entry microformat. In the end I removed all my sharing buttons, as I realised I didn’t feel they added much utility.
        (I edited your webmention earlier to remove those buttons, but when you edit the posting it gets re-send)

  2. Manual webmention (somehow the form didn’t work either.) http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2019/02/10/open-web-newcomers-and-community-tools/

    Lilia writes:

    “Over last years I made many attempts to return to blogging, but couldn’t quite get the feeling of how it was before. That feeling of belonging. To the idea space. To the tribe of people connected by the intricate network of invisible stories and traces of digital artefacts. I guess it had to do not only with the state of things on the web but also with my own processes of learning in other spaces and building up enough energy to rejoin in the open.

    Anyway, I am back and it feels like coming home. And there are more people who come back home to what they have known before “the silo’s Sirens lured us in” as Ton Zijlstra eloquently writes”

Reposts

  • Roland Tanglao 猪肉面

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