Dusting Off Again

Again I'm returning to my blog after several years of ignoring it.

I've become convinced that we need to decentralize our social media and stop giving our data and privacy to "big tech" interests who package and sell it as they wish.

I also want to start contributing to the development of a real-world, decentralized, encrypted protocol to allow us a path forward.

I plan to write about that process here, and possibly use this blog or website to "dogfood" the concept. There are other people working on similar ideas, and I intend to start researching the best way to proceed. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommended reading or Twitter follows to pursue on this topic!

In the process of dusting off, I looked back at this website. I designed and built this site in 2011, and haven't touched it much since. Websites and web development have changed a lot since then, but the site still holds up pretty well.

I removed some items from my social sidebar, due to evolution:

  • Facebook: Of all the social media services, FB is the one that disappoints me the most. They never bothered to get their privacy and security ducks in a row before going "big league", and have shown little accountability or responsibility for correcting this situation.
  • Instagram: I just don't use it. It bothers me to know that it's owned by Facebook and all the data goes to the same place.
  • Google+: Once "required" by the "fair" Google SEO algorithm for optimal placement, this service no longer even exists.
  • YouTube: Similar to Instagram, I just don't use it and don't care for their data practices OR effect on toxic culture.

This leaves me with Twitter, LinkedIn and Github. Eventually I would like to see Twitter replaced with (or integrating) a decentralized service. Eventually I would love to never look at LinkedIn again, but I do use it professionally for recruiting, so I don't see that happening soon. And Github is far enough removed from my personal/social data that I view it as something not-quite-social-networky. More of a professional service as far as I'm concerned.

Older services I've removed in the past that I can see in my git history: Myspace, Foursquare, Flickr, Delicious, AngelList, Last.fm. Go back even further and you'll find MyBlogLog, Pownce, Plurk, and any number of social sites that in the past were consumed by the big players.

R.I.P., social media of the past.

It bothers me that once we move on from these services, our data disappears with them. Another great reason for decentralizing our social media - anything I publish here is mine to keep, delete or republish whenever I want. A protocol allowing me to publish and control my own content regardless of where it is owned/hosted would solve that problem.

I'm excited about this upcoming effort. It's bigger than apps, bigger than #hashtags, and presents an opportunity to correct some of the mistakes made in implementing our digital social lives.