How hard is it to have a conversation on Twitter? So hard even the CEO can’t do it. Kara Swisher’s live-tweeted interview with Jack Dorsey highlighted some of Twitter’s product issues.
Greetings, people of the future!
This piece has gotten a lot of attention over the years. I have heard a lot of people saying that they had been "inspired" by it. I fear that what they meant was that they were inspired by the one pull-quote that people tend to quote from it, and ignored the rest. So if someone has linked you to this page, or if you've googled that pull-quote and ended up here, let me give you some context. I wrote this in 2005, which was was more than a year before Facebook was open to the general public.
The world was different then.
When I hear people say that they were "inspired" by this, I fear that the result of such inspiration was most likely to cause them to participate in the construction of the Public-Private Surveillance Partnership. These people told themselves that they were building tools to "bring people together" when in fact what they were doing was constructing and enabling the information-broker business models used by companies like Facebook and Equifax, where people are not the customers but rather are the raw materials whose personal details are the product.
I was talking about decentralization and empowerment of the individual. They went and build the exact opposite.
It's not a great feeling to think that someone may have read your words and then gone on to construct the dystopian hellscape that we're now living in, where Twitter is the prime enabler of actual Nazis and Facebook's greatest accomplishment has been to put a racist rapist in the White House.
If all the people who claimed to have been "inspired" by this piece hadn't been, and had just kept writing middleware for banks or whatever, the world might have been a slightly better place.
I wish I had never published this.- jwz, 24-Nov-2017
Twitter started out life as an AIM hack that Jack Dorsey added to his pager, Wired reports. Dorsey had been quite involved in the world of instant messaging, and had launched a dispatch software startup in 1999. Dorsey became quite interested in his friends’ status messages and wanted to see them and set his own …
Before Twitter was public, it was just an AIM hack on Jack Dorsey’s pager. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey had a background in messenger culture. He had even launched a dispatch software startup called D-Net, back in 1999. He was also captivated by his friends status messages on AOL Instant Messenger. He wanted to combine the \[…\]
On May 31st, 2000, I signed up with a new service called LiveJournal. I was user 4,136 which entitled me a permanent account and street cred in some alternate geeky universe which I have not yet visited. I was living in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory in Oakland California and starting a company to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the web. One night in July of that year I had an idea to make a more "live" LiveJournal. Real-time, up-to-date, from the road. Akin to updating your AIM status from wherever you are, and sharing it. For the next 5 years, I thought about this concept and tried to silently introduce it into my various projects. It slipped into my dispatch work. It slipped into my networks of medical devices. It slipped into an idea for a frictionless service market. It was everywhere I looked: a wonderful abstraction which was easy to implement and understand. The 6th year; the idea has finally solidified (thanks to the massively creative environment my employer Odeo provides) and taken a novel form. We're calling it twttr (though this original rendering calls it stat.us; I love the word.ed domains, e.g. gu.st/). It's evolved a lot in the past few months. From an excited discussion and persuasion on the South Park playground to a recently approved application for a SMS shortcode. I'm happy this idea has taken root; I hope it thrives. Some things are worth the wait.
The Bundeskartellamt has imposed on Facebook far-reaching restrictions in the processing of user data.
According to Facebook's terms and conditions users have so far only been able to use the social network under the precondition that Facebook can collect user data also outside of the Facebook website in the internet or on smartphone apps and assign these data to the user’s Facebook account. All data collected on the Facebook website, by Facebook-owned services such as e.g. WhatsApp and Instagram and on third party websites can be combined and assigned to the Facebook user account.
The authority’s decision covers different data sources:
(i) Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram can continue to collect data. However, assigning the data to Facebook user accounts will only be possible subject to the users’ voluntary consent. Where consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and cannot be processed in combination with Facebook data.
(ii) Collecting data from third party websites and assigning them to a Facebook user account will also only be possible if users give their voluntary consent.
I'm pulling the plug on Facebook because of their recent privacy violations — which got me thinking about what is next for the Open Web.
I want to pull the plug myself. I’ve essentially stopped using Facebook and have had the mobile app off my phone for almost a year and a half. I’m half waiting for better data export so I can keep all my data the way I’d like, but I’m beginning to think the moral imperative to just leave is more important.
On the morning of October 21, 2017, the budding New York choreographer Jinah Parker was sitting in bed, her husband lying alongside, when she opened her email and found a deeply unsettling, one-paragraph message about her debut dance production.
The show was called SHE, a Choreoplay, an off-off-Broadway interpretative dance in which four women vividly monologize rape and abuse.
Parker wrote and directed. Her newlywed husband, Kevin Powell, was the producer. In 1992, as a tenacious 26-year-old activist, he appeared on the inaugural season of MTV’s genre-defining reality show, The Real World. In the decades since, he’d become a prolific public speaker, author of 13 books, and a two-time congressional candidate.
Powell also has a history of violence. He assaulted women in college and once shoved a girlfriend into a bathroom door. Now he’s a sophist of male fragility, and an essential component of his activist repertoire is to engage in public reflection—usually with equal parts self-effacement and self-righteousness—upon this personal shame.
A great example why hot takes involving coming at people and seemingly outting them without the appropriate research can be terribly dangerous.
It would seem that this couple got just what they had coming to them, though it’s a bit disingenuous that they can go to crowd funding platforms to spread the blame out. I’m hoping that it was only all the people to whom they spread their invective to that ended helping to foot part of their bill.
WhatsApp, a messaging service, is cracking down further on fake news. Users will now only be allowed to forward a message to five groups (each group can be up to 256 people), down from 20. The limitation was first introduced in India last year after several mob lynchings there appeared to start after incendiary messages spread through the service.
I can’t imagine that unless the average group is well under 20 people, that WhatsApps change will have a drastic effect. 256 by itself, much less 5 times that, is way over the Dunbar number and likely not enough of a brake on social gossip. This sounds like a lot of lip service to me.
Discourse is the 100% open source discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet.
As I look at this it makes me wonder when small, single-purpose services might allow themselves to be white listed and/or custom styled to live on a users personal domain, yet still look like they’re part and parcel of that user’s native site.
As an example, Disqus and Webmention.io are interesting examples of how a company could specialize into handling comments for user’s sites. These two are both doing things very differently and at much different price points. Disqus is large and bloated and seems to have quite innovating and iterating. I have to wonder what it would look like with more players and more competition in the space?
In fact, I’m still wondering why hasn’t Disqus picked up and run away with the Webmention spec?
Twitter tried to downplay the impact deactivating its legacy APIs would have on its community and the third-party Twitter clients preferred by many power users by saying that “less than 1%” of Twitter developers were using these old APIs. Twitter is correct in its characterization of th…
Opinion: The 2009 vs. 2019 profile picture trend may or may not have been a data collection ruse to train its facial recognition algorithm. But we can't afford to blithely play along.
Facebook really is dying
You know I hate the word "dead" applied to things that were never alive, but in this case I can't think of a better way to say it. Facebook is turning into a ghost town. Here's how I know.
I kind of like the idea of a death penalty for corporations…
Feeling courageous? Click the [repost] symbol next to this post. #
I like that Dave is continuing to experiment with allowing others to use Twitter to interact with his blog. Reminds me of some of my experiments almost two years ago.
Every year Mark Zuckerberg sets a "challenge" for himself for that year, which as many people have noted, Facebook has turned into a big PR vehicle for the company. We usually don't even bother to write about it, because why bother?...
Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? ❧
Part of the unstated problem here is that Facebook has supplanted the “traditional gatekeepers” and their black box feed algorithm is now the gatekeeper which decides what people in the network either see or don’t see. Things that crazy people used to decry to a non-listening crowd in the town commons are now blasted from the rooftops, spread far and wide by Facebook’s algorithm, and can potentially sway major elections.
I hope they talk about this.