Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Web We Lost

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the left-it-in-our-other-pants dept.

Social Networks 255

An anonymous reader writes "Anil Dash has an insightful post about cutting through the social media hype to see all of the social functionality we've lost on the web over the past decade. 'We've lost key features that we used to rely on, and worse, we've abandoned core values that used to be fundamental to the web world. To the credit of today's social networks, they've brought in hundreds of millions of new participants to these networks, and they've certainly made a small number of people rich. But they haven't shown the web itself the respect and care it deserves, as a medium which has enabled them to succeed. And they've now narrowed the possibilities of the web for an entire generation of users who don't realize how much more innovative and meaningful their experience could be. ... We get bulls*** turf battles like Tumblr not being able to find your Twitter friends or Facebook not letting Instagram photos show up on Twitter because of giant companies pursuing their agendas instead of collaborating in a way that would serve users. And we get a generation of entrepreneurs encouraged to make more narrow-minded, web-hostile products like these because it continues to make a small number of wealthy people even more wealthy, instead of letting lots of people build innovative new opportunities for themselves on top of the web itself.'"

cancel ×

255 comments

Uh...it's still there, you know (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286443)

Most of the stuff this guy is bitching about is stuff that is STILL THERE. You can still create your own website and post whatever the hell you like, create whatever community you damn well please, etc. Unless you're in a country like China or Iran, you have every bit as much freedom today on the internet as you did 10 or 15 years ago.

Just because people CHOOSE to use social sites like Facebook and give up certain freedoms in the process doesn't mean anything has been lost. About the only area where I see where freedom has really been lost is in the increasing prevalence of tablets, phones, and likely soon even laptops that are behind software "walled gardens," like iOS. And even if that case, no one is *forcing* anyone to buy those devices.

And as for complaining about the lack of standards in sites sharing info, well WTF is new? Companies developing proprietary formats for sharing info is hardly something that Twitter just discovered recently.

To me this guy just sounds like another FOSS zealot bitching because the world doesn't work like he wants it to, and things didn't turn out like the Open Source utopia he had envisioned in 2000.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286475)

You are right - I just checked and my server in the basement is still serving up the same photo album it did 10 years ago. Phew! :)

The existence of Facebook or Twitter in no way diminishes my ability to put up a crappy website or to fire up a usenet client. IRC is even still around.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286607)

and it is much easier to put up that crappy web page now. can rent a virtual server somewhere cheap, don't need to deal with the box in the corner.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286777)

or to fire up a usenet client

Good luck finding a feed. Those are dropping like flies.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287047)

You can set up your own indexer, too....

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (4, Insightful)

Gotung (571984) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286933)

And he seems to be acting like there used to be some deep integration out there that the walled gardens have shut down. 10 years ago "integration" and "APIs" between sites consisted of a adding a hypertext link on your geocities page to somebody else's geocities page. Maybe you made it flash to stand out.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (5, Funny)

logjon (1411219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287175)

Wanna join my webring?

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

cristiroma (606375) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286529)

Yes, except the added value of tons of SPAM, SEO SPAM and stupid people posting stupid things. Like this post, for instance!

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (4, Insightful)

mfnickster (182520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286729)

Yep. Folks who got on the Internet/WWW after about 2001 don't realize that it wasn't always just another medium for slapping ads in front of people.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286613)

Exactly, if the noobs leave the web it's better for both of us, I don't see a problem here.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286707)

I'm putting little stock in a blogger who bitches about how Facebook is ruining the web, yet uses it for his blog comments.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286733)

Well, back in the day I could use talk to talk to friends on any system as they used the same protocol. Now there are a zillion and one incompatible instant messaging programs, each with their own protocol.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286849)

What day was this? AOL/ICQ/MSN were all competing/incompatible protocols in the late 90s. Many people had accounts on each, and they all still exist. Hell, even IRC is still usable.

Baring that, just because something is old and nostalgic, doesn't mean it was better than we have now. In most cases, it isn't.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287567)

Young'n. He said talk. Unix app, you'd who or finger someone at another computer / university to see if they were logged in then talk to them. Then ytalk allowed multi user talks. Although I'd usually just login to a MUD to talk to people, easier than hunting them down. And you could kill them if the conversation was boring.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

slippyblade (962288) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286897)

Weird, I remember using Trillian specifically because it supported a bunch of the incompatible IM protocols that the zillion different companies used back in the day.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

yotto (590067) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287039)

I still use it for that.

And because Google chat sucks so much.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287319)

I never understood why there was such a backlash against Trillian.
I use it also.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (3)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286737)

No kidding. No one turned off all the protocols and forced you to use a web browser for everything. I can still hack up a socket server and serve binary data to an application. The only obstacles here are the ones you create with your own mind. Most of the early Internet was built by students. It wasn't some company that wrote the first news reader, or the early networked game clients (Like Xtrek, Conquest and the like.) You could implement your own damn internets, if you wanted to, with blackjack and hookers. Whether anyone would come to it is another question entirely, but you could build it if you wanted to.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286983)

I used to be part of a network of computers called a BBS (bulletin board system) and that was back in the early 90's before there even was a web.... I knew several friends who were working on the code for AOL and several others... In those days you had a sysop (system operator) who ran a BBS... You would dail up his or her computer, leave posts, upload and download files and yes send lots of emails... great way to get messages around.... Then came the web and things got so much bigger and better..... Do I miss my BBS... yes at times... but now I can go anywhere in the world and see what is happening instead of just the Bay Area... I would say we've come a long way in just a short time...Just think what we will be able to do with the web in another 20 years...

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (5, Insightful)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286769)

I have to agree. I've been around long enough to remember when people built their own Web sites. First, they built crappy sites on the space their ISP gave them, than, when sites like Geocities and Tripod came along, many of them moved there. Facebook isn't really that much different. Well, it is in that you can't actually build a page/site to look the way you want, but many people couldn't do that anyway, which is why those site-builder tools at Geocities and Tripod were so appealing. And what did they do with the sites they built? Often, they posted pictures of their babies, dogs, cats, etc.; you know, the same thing they're doing on Facebook now.

But OK, we have lost something if you look at it from the perspective of people getting out there, building sites, sharing all sorts of useful info, or whatever it was that we thought people were going to do on the Internet. That never really happened, but is that so surprising? We've tended to misunderstand how every new technology will be used, so why should the Internet be any different? And besides, creating content takes time, and creating quality content takes lots of time. Most folks are tired when they come home from work. They want to read others' content, not create their own. And yet, we still manage to see content posted online. Look at all the forums out there. In fact, I had to do some research on seizures yesterday, and I found the info that I needed in some of these forums.

And if, after reading this, someone is still lamenting what we've lost, then they can get out there and try to get it back. It's going to be hard to change user behavior, but there's nothing stopping them from trying.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287519)

But OK, we have lost something if you look at it from the perspective of people getting out there, building sites, sharing all sorts of useful info, or whatever it was that we thought people were going to do on the Internet. That never really happened, but is that so surprising?

What do you mean? Every hobby has an associated website or more, and a community where people share their projects, personal experiences, documentation, etc. All this takes place on forums and wikis, not social networks like facebook, which is one of the big reasons why facebook doesn't appeal.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286833)

That reminds me. I still have my website up. It hasn't been updated since around 1996 or thereabouts.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (2, Interesting)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287303)

The fascinating thing is how the public now thinks that FB is "The Web/Internet". They chat through it, post pics, etc; Everything is done via FB and for someone to go to a site outside of FB is almost alien to many in that "Gilded Cage".

Scary and fascinating at the same time.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287363)

Most of the stuff this guy is bitching about is stuff that is STILL THERE.

I think his point is more along the lines of "get off my lawn". Ten years ago the web was far better in some ways -- almost no intrusive advertising, because it was mostly folks putting up personal sites. No ford.com or pepsi.com. Yes, most of it was poorly designed by people who had no clue how to design anything, but now you have the web 99% commercial, still designed by people who have no business designing anything.

On the other hand, ten years ago you didn't have Hulu, you didn't have every radio station on the planet broadcasting over IP, you didn't have almost every TV network put its wares on the web. Before Google, all the search engines sucked horribly. And the blink tag is gone! In some respects it's gotten better, in others it's gotten worse.

Pretty much like anything else in the word, you take the good with the bad.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (4, Insightful)

skeptical_monster (1436977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287425)

You actually named the glaring problem. Smartphones and tablets and such don't use open standards to share data, they are apps that are not searchable, not based on standards, and can only be built by someone who knows objective C or whatever. The threat is that tablets and smartphones are going to so deeply undercut the PC market that virtually everyone moves to using proprietary apps in walled gardens, and the web itself shrinks to almost nothing. Then the "medium" becomes the domain of elite programmers and the data becomes wholly owned by the app owners. The web is important because it is open AND widely used. If it is no longer widely used then it isn't as useful.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287431)

Are you sure?

Last time I checked usenet was blocked by my provider. Last time I checked (today) the local mafiaa was sueing political parties that dared to offer peer-to-peer systems into oblivion. Hell, even the mobile provider blocks the weather sites so they can sell the weather info as an "extra". The internet may technically still exists, but just less so.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287571)

This article was a load a horse shit. In the first item, he talks about how RSS is no longer used, and my eyes popped out of my head a little. Just because it's ubiquitous, and nobody's really excited about it doesn't mean that it isn't there. In fact, I would make the argument that the number of rss feeds on the web today is an order of magnitude higher than it's ever been, and expanding daily. It's just built into everything, so you don't really notice it.

Re:Uh...it's still there, you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287613)

No it is not I refuse to long in even here.
I will not give up my email address either.
Funny how that works
nonsense personal information pigs.
Some post something about their facebook page I never get to see it can even just view the page and move on.
The reason i dont care is I been here sense damn near the first day.
I know what the content use to be before ads and their ilk.
I would do any thing to make advertizing illegal and go back to those days before ads
It was great.
Back when the only connection was AOL every file was freely downloadable and viewable.
I have seriously been considering cutting the cord.
It was a better place before the advent of the GUI and everyone was an anonymous coward.

Something Lost, nothing gained (-1, Offtopic)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286491)

Sounds like what happened in Television from the 50's to the 80's. Nothing but crap for years on end.

Re:Something Lost, nothing gained (-1, Offtopic)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286637)

Sounds like what happened in Television from the 50's to the 80's. Nothing but crap for years on end.

Still nothing but crap on TV.

tv is in a Golden Age right now! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286723)

go watch HBO's "The Wire", duder.... it is modern Shakespeare!

Re:Something Lost, nothing gained (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286765)

I don't know why you left the 90's and 2000's out of that. The 90s granted us the era of inane sitcom dominance, and the 2000s gave us the reality television tsunami and 24 hour news. It's too early to say whether the 2010's dramas are going to be a predominantly good or bad thing.

Re:Something Lost, nothing gained (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286865)

I don't know why the writer of the article is complaining. The web hasn't been about the people using it for YEARS now. Probably a decade by now.

Dude man... we're a commodity meant to be bled of everything useful, and then discarded. That's just how it is now, and you'll never change it because you're in the lower caste.

Ever Heard of Capitalism? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286499)

they've brought in hundreds of millions of new participants to these networks, and they've certainly made a small number of people rich

For better or for worse, these are very important things in a Capitalistic society.

But they haven't shown the web itself the respect and care it deserves

For better or for worse, these are completely worthless things in a Capitlistic society.

We get bulls*** turf battles like Tumblr not being able to find your Twitter friends or Facebook not letting Instagram photos show up on Twitter because of giant companies pursuing their agendas instead of collaborating in a way that would serve users. And we get a generation of entrepreneurs encouraged to make more narrow-minded, web-hostile products like these because it continues to make a small number of wealthy people even more wealthy, instead of letting lots of people build innovative new opportunities for themselves on top of the web itself.

So it has been, so it is now and so it always shall be: Money drives everything. I don't understand Anil Dash's point and I didn't get much new information from it. It's pretty generic. Make observations (very easy) and then offer conclusions that are bland and optimistic like:

We'll fix these things; I don't worry about that. The technology industry, like all industries, follows cycles, and the pendulum is swinging back to the broad, empowering philosophies that underpinned the early social web. But we're going to face a big challenge with re-educating a billion people about what the web means, akin to the years we spent as everyone moved off of AOL a decade ago, teaching them that there was so much more to the experience of the Internet than what they know.

Wow this guy uses some pretty strong rhetoric for not having to explain how this is ever going to be fixed. Also, I feel like he fails to even scratch the surface of what is a very deep "intellectual property" hole of copyright and patents giving the mindset that other companies shouldn't use our ideas to make money or we want that money. And that is so ingrained right now that I don't see "we'll fix these things" as a given. Also this "pendulum" concept he speaks of is hilarious. Care to explain the historic swings of this pendulum to me?

Call me when somebody has a solution that will work. Since you'll never be calling me, I'll just continue to deal with the current state of things.

Re:Ever Heard of Capitalism? (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286809)

Wow this guy uses some pretty strong rhetoric for not having to explain how this is ever going to be fixed.

I wish I had mod points for you, sir. I did not like TFA at all and was not nearly as impressed by author as he was with himself. (I'm so glad he approves of Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest; I am sure their boards of directors are breathing a sigh of relief! Or not.)

Re:Ever Heard of Capitalism? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287525)

Wow. Apathetic much? "Since the odds of anything changing by themselves is so small why should I bother to fight for change?" No, he does not have a fix. That is not the point of the piece. The point is that there is a problem, and it is directly related to US, the power users of the internet being apathetic little shits who are glad we don't need to let grandma on to IRC or tell Aunt Glennis what a news reader is.

Want to fix the internet? Code up a better chat client, make a better news reader, get off your ass and do something. For God's sake don't just moan about how hard it is and how the "invisible hand" of the "free market" is the only guide we should follow.

Now go and do or stfu.

first :O (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286509)

first post...

this guy is hitting the nail on the head (1, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286511)

From what I see, though, one of the big issues is that when you get to be the size of Facebook or Twitter, it HAS to be about making money. Who is going to pay for your servers and who is going to pay your employees who work on the site full-time? Once you hit critical mass, in order not collapse under your own weight, you need to protect your monetary interests and that means closing off access to competing services.

Now, in the past, this wasn't as much of an issue because people actually paid for things and/or the advertisements covered costs. Today, the bottom has fallen out of the advertising market and no one wants to pay for anything anymore. I have friends that think Flickr's $25/year pro account is a rip-off. I think that's a *steal*.

The ecosystem of the web today is full of freeloaders and "entrepreneurs" who are trying to make a quick buck (via VC or getting bought, primarily) rather than trying to build awesome new products that people would actually want to pay for. No one wants to build companies anymore, they just want to build windfalls.

Re:this guy is hitting the nail on the head (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286569)

nobody paid for things in the past. the internet was even more free than today. the NY times website was free for years. i remember the sales wars of the late 1990s when dot com stores were "selling" DVD's for a few $$$. not old crap, but new releases that cost $30 at retail stores

the money came from stupid VC's and investors flushing tens of millions of $$$ down the dot com toilet or mega corps willing to lose money on the web until they could monetize it

radio was the first to work out a free business model
TV copied it and even added a pay TV model that a lot of people liked for a decade or two
and now the internet is trying to work out its own version of the pay TV model

Re:this guy is hitting the nail on the head (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286921)

radio was the first to work out a free business model

Because they never had to pay for the product they were selling. The music they use was never paid for. In fact it was the other way around. When people bought cds and vinyl it made sense. Now people can have 500gb libraries and not bother with any middle man.

Giving it away does not work other than when someone is being very generous. Why you saw many hobbyist sites fall off the planet.
Giving it away and selling adverts works to a point. Where your customers get pissed off and leave because of the 3000th commercial.

You know what is tried and true? Making product and selling it. Then even that can fall over on itself if you are making something people no longer want or can not make it for less than what you sell it for...

Re:this guy is hitting the nail on the head (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287221)

And radio's "free business model" is exactly why I don't use it, even when I forgot my iPod and don't have CDs with me. Honestly, an occasional song between five minutes of advertising and station plugs with the same music anyway between the half-dozen clear and "decent" stations? Not to mention the know-nothing DJs that want to constantly remind me of their Y-grade celebrity status?

I'll listen to the music of my engine, thank you very much.

Re:this guy is hitting the nail on the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286917)

in order not collapse under your own weight, you need to protect your monetary interests and that means closing off access to competing services.

Or offer a better product than the competition. Of course that would mean research and development, more money "wasted", which nowadays companies consider it a big NO-NO.

haha, newfag thinks 2003 is "early" internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287107)

TFA seems to think the death of Technorati (propriatary website) and replacement by Facebook (propriatary website) is some great loss. I thought he was going to make an outstanding point. Instead, he's being a newfag and no one can stop him. [blol.me]

He misses the point of his own argument. TFA can't imagine a world where Facebook is an open protocol and interoperates with Facebook clones. That's exactly what we used to have with "social" protocols like IRC and NNTP. Anyone could run their own "social" web. It wasn't until the government stepped in and labeled everyone using those systems as pedophiles and pirates that people started migrating to the walled gardens for their own "safety." Sure, those open systems still exist, but they're mainly ghost towns. Even the spam bots are gone in a lot of cases.

Odd view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286517)

The values TFS is talking about were not lost during the last decade. It is values that companies brought with them when they adopted the web. Those companies are run by people who have been brought up with a company structure that lost those values 50 years ago. It's called capitalism.
If you want everyone to cooperate you have to throw out competition first.

Not exactly (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286523)

we've abandoned core values that used to be fundamental to the web world.

No we haven't. They're just no longer in the majority. It's like religions: In the United States, for example, everyone's on about how the 0.5% of atheists that exist here are oppressing the christians' (who make up 76%) right to celebrate their christmas holiday. Please -- I'm just using this as an example, no flames! But elsewhere in the world, it's dominated by muslims, or jews, or hindus, or whatever. And within each of those communities, those values are the dominant ones.

The web was originally created by academics, scientists, engineers, and people from these fields are collaborative. They're peers, and they broker in knowledge sharing and exchange. It's very different than the hierarchy that most of society is based on. Now that "most of society" has moved onto the web, they've taken their values with them. The web is simply a communications medium; It does not have a morality.

That said... I miss the old days too.

Re:Not exactly (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286689)

As with anything, the more popular and widely used, the more clueless the average user is. It is an opportunity for the "elders" to educate new users and it seems to work good.

Slashdot is a good example, I can remember how it was 15 years ago, how insightful most comments was and how trolls were less prominent (or is it my memory playing the good-old-days trick on me? probably). Too bad I did not register until years later, I would have an awesome 4 digit UID! Another example is abovetopsecret.com, in the beginning it was really about digging secret stuff, now it has become such a circus I cannot stand it anymore.

Getting technology is the hands of as much people is a Good Thingtm and supercede the negative traits that comes with it. Kudos for your religion analogy, very well worded.

Re:Not exactly (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286841)

Kudos for your religion analogy, very well worded.

Well, the moderators are frothing at the mouth over some of my "devil's advocate" posts lately. Like pointing out the United States isn't all sunshine and unicorns in an earlier thread today... it's been from -1, Troll to +5 insightful a half dozen times already. It really has nothing to do with the strength of my argument, but the fact that the moderators on slashdot these days have a lower tolerance for cognitive dissonance because fewer and fewer of them are highly educated and experienced within the fields Slashdot used to cater to -- science, technology, and engineering. Now it's become a cesspool of fanboys who may have enthusiasm for those things but not enough experience with it to recognize their own limitations, or that there is more than one right answer (or sometimes no right answers, which is a terrible thing for a young geek to learn).

As you can see now, it's currently, "+2, offtopic", in spite of the fact that the whole premise of my post is explaining how we lost the web the author is reminiscing about! And they probably marked me down because I used an example that was politically charged. I chose that example precisely because it illustrates why the web has changed: The general population is full of prejudice and intolerance. Slashdot used to be exempt from that, but like I said -- as the less-experienced and knowledgable have flooded the forums, it has seen an influx of those values as evidenced by both the comments and the moderation.

Since the buyout, Slashdot has gained more mainstream attention (thanks, Dice, for spending all that money on choice SEO placement...) as an aggregate news site, but it's lost its original values -- those insighful and in-depth, and often humorous, posts that you and I remember and love. And don't let my high UID fool you... I had a 4 digit once. Then a troll hacked my account. :)

Re:Not exactly (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286899)

What Slashdot needs is to ask 10 engineering/scientific questions to prove the user is an engineer! Kind of like Larry Leisure Suit VGA asked questions an underage was not likely to know before you could play!

Re:Not exactly (1)

Pope (17780) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287367)

I chose that example precisely because it illustrates why the web has changed: The general population is full of prejudice and intolerance. Slashdot used to be exempt from that, but like I said -- as the less-experienced and knowledgable have flooded the forums, it has seen an influx of those values as evidenced by both the comments and the moderation.

LOL, what? 'twas ever thus. Slashdot was never exempt from prejudice and intolerance. You're really looking at this place through a haze of nostalgia.

Re:Not exactly (2)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287439)

You must acknowledge the fact that if you were around for Web 1.0 and can remember those days that you are, like me, one of the old fogeys of the web. I've been online since '93 and I don't have a FB account, yet I have friends and relatives that think I'm some kind of noob because they can't find me on FB! Too funny.

There is a definite "generation gap" between we who remember "the good old days" of the web and those who were incubated in the SOSHAL web 2.0 groupthink.

Re:Not exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286891)

and how trolls were less prominent (or is it my memory playing the good-old-days trick on me? probably)

You're basically remembering wrong or you weren't actually there during the early days. The early days of Slashdot was filled with far more trolling than now. Why do you think they have the "lameness" and repeating filters? It was because people were using it to post ASCII spam and all sorts of other shit. Goatse and GNAA trolling was done far more frequently. Basically, you're full of shit.

Re:Not exactly (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286993)

Memory have a tendancy of retaining positive experiences int the ling term... hence the (or is it my memory playing the good-old-days trick on me? probably).

Re:Not exactly (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287239)

Sentences, coherent thoughts and spelling are still good things.

Re:Not exactly (5, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286771)

Indeed. The web has become something of a sewer. It's no longer about getting you the right information on demand, or you offering up the right information on demand. It's about a bunch of people in a dark room, wearing dark clothes, trying to talk to each other with duct tape over their mouths, while the latest pop video blasts loudly from somewhere outside. It has become almost impossible to find even relevant information, which is why people are breaking out into VPNs; they are throwing up dams to keep the misinformation at bay.

See, there were questionable things on the web many moons ago. There still are. However, the good things about the web greatly outweighed the bad. Just by browsing around on it, you became a better person. You were more knowledgeable, you understood that power is often invisible, and while there were trolls, they were dealt with quickly. That's not the case today: the web is now filled with white noise, misinformation, and criminal stupidity. Yes, I said criminal stupidity. It's not that they are holding unpopular opinions, or that they can't spell a word if they have a dictionary in hand, it's just pure idiocy. And it's contagious.

The morons outnumber us, and they would, if given the option, call for further regulation of the web to 'fix' things if they had a chance. And that's where we are failing -> we're too nice, and we are being taken advantage of. You want an open and free web divorced of this stupidity, and while you are trying to convince people of this merit, they are positioning things for a takeover. You come with good intentions and an open hand, they see a delusional person who is unarmed. And contrary to popular belief, the unarmed man is the first person an attacker goes after; why not, he doesn't have a weapon?

Which leads us to the present. Not content with having thrown the creators of the sandbox out of their own invention, the bullies now want to destroy it. To taught their 'alpha male' (actually super beta) -ness, they will destroy it, so no one else can enjoy it. Even now, they are calling for a cyberwar. This entire enterprise is beyond f*cked up, and frankly, it's killing our respective way of life; scientists and engineers can't discuss important information without being accosted, because they "know things," and could use their knowledge for evil. This is anti-freedom of speech, and frankly anti-American. The United States is a slut, and will go down on anyone for the right money; gone are the days when her principles meant anything, she sold them for a pair of pumps and a glittery purse.

Re:Not exactly (2)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287573)

The web always was a sewer... The difference now is that it is a corporatized, guided, walled-in, groupthink sewer as opposed to the chaotic sewer it used to be.

It's called a "free market", deal with it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286535)

Companies like Facebook and Apple have no obligation to share any of their proprietary technologies with you. Want a heavily regulated internet? Move to CHINA! What this idiot calls a "more narrow-minded, web-hostile products" those of us who believe in the free market call "amazingly profitable technology". Apple and Facebook are brilliant not because they push freetarded ideas like these but because they build products people want and leverage them to exclude competitors. This is simple, basic business acument and you LOSERS need to get over your self importance long enough to see it.

Re:It's called a "free market", deal with it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286645)

you LOSERS,

Go fuck yourself. You point isn't entirely invalid and i was going to post some shit that both agrees and disagrees with your points but seriously just go fuck yourself.

Short version (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286539)

Geeks created a cool idea, but people are selfish dicks.

Is Anil just being anal? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Cod (2647669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286547)

What were his parents thinking when they came up with that name?

Re:Is Anil just being anal? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286603)

his parents wanted him to be a super villilain, who would anhilate things

Re:Is Anil just being anal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286631)

Ignorance is bliss, eh?

Ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286549)

And they've now narrowed the possibilities of the web for an entire generation of users who don't realize how much more innovative and meaningful their experience could be. ...

Do you have actual specifics rather than buzzword laden marketing speak?

Also, people have been fracturing the web for their own gains since the early 90s. Does this guy not remember AOL, Compuserve, etc.?

Re:Ok... (2)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287185)

They weren't fracturing the web, they in fact were helping to expand it and bring it to more people.

AOL and especially CompuServe were their own proprietary networks that brought good new communication tools like email, BBS's, etc. to the public, and as the internet emerged these services provided gateways to it. Since they already had local points-of-presence all over the world it was a natural thing they would act as a local ISP wherever they were already.

Once local ISP's became plentiful and easy to set up, the big ISP's eventually became a footnote in history. Most of them, if they still existed, shifted to an entirely internet-based operation and basically became an email and personal webpage hosting provider like AOL. That and for all the clueless people that for a while thought they still needed AOL to access the internets, they gleefully kept taking people's money and sending out CD's like mad.

nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286581)

Wrong, dead wrong.

Idiot (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286611)

So basically his post can be summed up as:

'Whine' 'whine' 'buzzword' 'buzzword' 'get off my lawn' 'whine' 'whine' 'buzzword' 'whine' 'buzzword'. I'm surprised he didn't mention how they would also be able to shift paradigms and provide synergy as well.

Re:Idiot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286913)

Dude, it's Anil Dash. He makes a living by keeping this douchey wannabe 'visionary' reputation up. In the end he just bitches and whines and feigns outrage. He's the internets Al Sharpton.

Why purple?! (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286621)

TFA (or blog post in this case) talks about how much better the web used to be, then uses purple-colored links everywhere, tricking me into thinking I've already clicked those links.

Re:Why purple?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286671)

Apparently your face is so ugly your mother wishes she had aborted you at week 26, so fuck off and die.

Re:Why purple?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286963)

Well, that seems uncalled for...

Ignores the causes of success? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286633)

I'm presuming many people for a long time including the author wanted to build a giant network just like Facebook BUT with all the options for "openness" and free choices between complete and zero interconnectivity between all sites you are a member of.

Now that Facebook has built one without these options the desire is to change it to that model.

What if the lack of those options was the thing that allowed Facebook to succeed in the first place?

Include them in the design in a quick and dirty way - makes it user unfriendly and clunky, with less chance of takeup.

Include them in the design in a way that is elegant - would take a lot of resources, making it far less likely for a single person to drive it.

Include them in the design with the help of a great number of collaborators - yep, because open source software and collaborative models always work outstanding in terms of making products that attract the largest user base.

It may not be that Zuckerberg has "robbed" the web of something, but rather that he succeeded in the only way the web allowed him to succeed given the scope.

This is kinda arrogant... (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286641)

Biggest example:
In the early says of the blogosphere lots of people did not have the tech-savvy necessary to start their own blogs. You needed to be able to buy your own domain-name, get a hosting service, install special blogging software, etc. Even if you had the expertise, remembering to maintain such a blog was not fool-proof. My first blog (detroitskeptic.com) currently points to a cyber-squatter because I forgot to tell the domain registrar when my email address changed, and my credit info expired.

Technorati was great, open, and non-corrupt; but it was only those three things to the small fraction of the human race that could actually do that stuff, but even in America that was under 10% of the population. Popular blogging platforms today (like Google's Wordpress) are fully in the control of a profit-seeking behemoth; but they also allow anyone who can master MS Word to have a blog.

Granted he admits these sites are great, he just wants them to focus on working together more. But he's missing a simple fact: the reason Facebook can afford to create a great site is they have revenue. They have revenue because they strategically screw anyone who finds a profitable niche in the Facebook-universe.

Google's Wordpress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287017)

Pardon? [wordpress.org]

net provides wonderous things (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286649)

I've learned to asemble and repair things watching youtube videos. My children's schools use the Khan website for homework and practice tests. I run my domain servers on BSD that is created and distributed via the web; and my desktops and laptops run Linux Mint. The web is enabling great things even with all the nonsense and drivel out there.

Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286655)

The Internet cancer [kimmoa.se] .

Web Now web a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286667)

In the internet and web are far superior in every way even taking into account the authors minor gripes and whiny bitching.

Re:Web Now web a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286693)

Yep, this is just another "get off my lawn" loser who pines for the days when the Internet was some exclusive club for sweaty nerds.

Um, 10 years ago was 2002. (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286695)

Please don't mourn the loss of poorly-animated American flag GIFs on pastel blue backgrounds adorned with horrible ClipArt.

Please also don't wish back into existence webrings or link exchanges.

You can long for another GeoCities if you really, really want, but why? Does it mean that much to you to have a few extra million shitty web pages out there with orange "Under Construction" banners and 200 pictures of someone's favorite anime character? Besides, nowadays you can't even twirl a lolcat by its tail without hitting some kind of "free web hosting" site. Sure, they might stick an ad or two on your page, but so did Geocities, and even though people raged and bleated about how the evil overlords were trying to make their money back, they still used GeoCities for years to come.

Stop mourning the loss of inconsequential shit that's old and obsolete. That's what hipsters pay good money to do (ironically enough).

tl;dr: Everything in this article is either still around, or has been replaced with something very similar.

P.S. The author's name is "Anil Dash". Wow... probably sucked to be him in middle/high school.

Re:Um, 10 years ago was 2002. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286799)

Like this page under construction pagE:

http://www.textfiles.com/underconstruction/

Re:Um, 10 years ago was 2002. (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287591)

I'm surprised I had to read this far down before I saw someone complain about animated gifs...

Re:Um, 10 years ago was 2002. (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287623)

I always wondered what people were talking or complaining about. I suppose I used lynx for far too long.

(Or not long enough I suppose)

The web (and internet) that wasn't (0)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286703)

If you need a way to send a contact a file via the interwebs, the most universal method is still email [xkcd.com] .

Yes, but "Serving users" isn't profitable (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286717)

Only feeding them targeted advertising is.

Promiscuous data whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286735)

So does he think websites are sucking in too much data from other servers, or not enough?

The web is shit, and it would still be shit if it happened the way he wanted, because the only thing holding it back was how shitty Javascript and HTML are. But then the browsers got XMLHttpRequest, and it was still shitty but now it could pull that shit from anywhere. And so they can keep polishing that turd, but no one knows where their data goes or who it goes to, yet this joker is whining because he can't mix the horribly abbreviated drivel posted to Twitter with the inane drivel posted to Tumblr with the 'shopped drivel posted to Instragram.

Or, it's better. (5, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286767)

I don't use facebook (near dormant account) and I have no twitter account.

On the other hand, I have a github account. It, or bitbucket or any random hosting service with post hooks would suffice. That's the point, any one would work.

Then I have a post hook which sends a POST to a specific URL.

The URL happens to be to drone.io which is completely unrelated to github. It at the request of github, drone.io then goes and downloads the repository and builds it. It then sends an email relating success or failure.

The email goes to a mailing list hosted by a completely different organisation. That eventually sends the email to my address at yet another place which through the magic of MX winds up in my browser via my gmail account.

This was trivial to set up and involves something like 6 different organisations that I can see (probably more like 20 when you include all the services those guys use) who have absoloutely no connection to one another. Yet, when someone commits a change, I get an automatic report as to whether they broke the build.

Screw facebook at al. I really don't care whether I can post instagram mangled pictures on twitter.

It would have taken a week 5 years ago to to that. Today it takes 5 minutes, from scratch.

The level of integration present on utterly disparate services is fantastic and way better than it used to be.

The present is awesome. The author just eeds to look outside.

Re:Or, it's better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286925)

uhhhhh... What are you trying to say I got lost after the post hooks comment? Not sure what post hooks have to do with being social on the internet unless you're post hook that posts your commit to GitHub, now that would be epic!

Its not different than the Instant Messenger wars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286775)

How is this any different than AOL Instant Messenger vs MSN vs Yahoo? Thats the way most people communicated on the web prior to MySpace.

An Anal Blast from Anil Dash (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286785)

This guy should create an opt-in email newsletter with all his ragings. See the subject line for the ideal title for such a correspondence.

What we actually lost (1)

medcalf (68293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286817)

All of that web stuff is still available. What we really have lost is a lot of the feature set that existed pre-web. Things like killfiles and distributed discussions from NNTP have no ready equivalent today.

Re:What we actually lost (1)

Hagaric (2591241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287029)

I'd say what we actually lost was user base..

I still use the same "social" networks as I used pre-myspace, facebook, twitter et al. it's just that now they resemble ghost towns more than anything else.

Give it up for Teddy P! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286823)

The web I lost was a sweet web
The web I lost was complete web
The web I lost, I will never
No, no, never web again

I can remember planning
Building my whole world around you
I can remember hoping
That you and I could make it on through

But something went wrong
We facebooked each other, we just couldn't get along
Take a good look at me
I'm in misery, can't you see?

The web I lost was a sweet web
The web I lost was complete web
The web I lost
I will never, no, no, never web again

I can't remember nothing, no, no, no
But the good times we used to share, my web
I'm so sad and lonely
But without you, my life is so dead

I'm sorry to say
You go your way and I'll go my way
It hurts deep inside
The day we said goodbye, but

The web I lost was a sweet web
The web I lost was complete web
The web I lost
I will never, no, no, never web again

Never, no, no, never web again
Never, no, no, never web again
Never, no, no, never web again
Never, no, no, never web again

Yeah, heard it before (4, Insightful)

Chelloveck (14643) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286829)

"A decade ago, there weren't many choices. Everyone I knew all used the same services and it was easy to find stuff. Now all the people I know use all sorts of different services and I can't find anything! We've lost the small, intimate web community we used to have!"

Yeah, yeah. Every few years someone with a blog goes through a mid-life crisis and realizes the world isn't the way it used to be. BFD, so the world changes. Get over it. Abe Simpson summed it up best...

"I used to be with it, but then they changed what *it* was. Now what I'm with isn't *it*, and what's *it* seems weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you... "

Ugh, what a steaming pile of crap. (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42286845)

This isn't some standard polemic about "those stupid walled-garden networks are bad!"

Yes it is. It's a long winded whine about how core principles have been lost, which they haven't.

I know that Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and the rest are great sites

But you point at them and say what huge amount of harm they've done.

But they're based on a few assumptions that aren't necessarily correct.

Oh really, let's examine them then.

The primary fallacy that underpins many of their mistakes is that user flexibility and control necessarily lead to a user experience complexity that hurts growth.

The primary fallacy of this article is that ordinary people want the complexity and extensibility, that every user wants to twiddle with RSS and build web pages from scratch. The vast majority of the internet using public don't. They want someone else to take care of the minutia. It's been that way since the days of the BBS. The BBS culture had users and sysops and wasn't pure peer to peer "read-write" because not everyone could be arsed to set up his own BBS and pay for a phone line or even bother something so simple as an ANSI menu layout screen. It's still this way. The vast majority of users just want to post their pictures, send mail, pirate media, write their blawgs and to leave the icky technical stuff to people more competent.

And the second, more grave fallacy, is the thinking that exerting extreme control over users is the best way to maximize the profitability and sustainability of their networks.'

And users can vote with their feet and migrate elsewhere. This article is written like the users have nowhere to go and the big services are some sort of social prison that nobody can escape. People are perfectly free to set up their own servers and whatnot. We've seen an explosion of cheap hosting like never before. But most people don't want to do that. The number of people I know, personally, that can write a simple HTML 1.0 web page from scratch, even with commercial tools, I can count on one hand. This is not the fault of the likes of Facebook or whoever. This is the because of the fact that even 20 years after the invention of the www, it's still complex with concepts that are nearly impossible for most people to wrap their heads around. And thus we wind up with services that are more than willing to do it for them.

The author is bemoaning the loss of the peer-to-peer read-write-web which never existed in the first place.

There are the technorati and there is everyone else, and the technorati run things. This is entirely by consent. There was no wresting control from users who wanted to do their own things. If there was any freedom lost (there hasn't been) it's because it was given up, not taken.

--
BMO

FB is MySpace mk 2 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286871)

I set up a Facebook 'like' button on my wifes website and we had more likes than visitors, so I know the FB likes are faked. I then read a BBC article about how they advertised a fake company and got thousands of likes, but from Egypt and Phillipines... for a company that didn't do anything and didn't exist.

Then I read this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19832043

(it says FB has admitted they rig the 'like' system to increment it anytime it sees a link to a site exchanged, or on lots of other occassions).

So IMHO, I think the popularity of Facebook is overblown by artificial bots and the fake games FB does to rig it. I think that's more about duping advertisers and investors than actual popularity. To make you think its more popular than it actually is.

The web is still there, it will still be there after Facebook, just as it was there after MySpace.

remote control dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286949)

I think most geeks love all the buttons, features, and lcd screen a $200 tv-combo remote control has to offer. It's something designed by engineers *for* engineers. Meanwhile, the rest (and I would dare say *most*) people of the world just simply wants to watch tv. power, volume, and channel are all the buttons most people want. Less is more. Apple designers knew the mass market. They don't much care for the niche.

Likewise, this guy sounds like he's lamenting the power of the internet being underutilized. I think that's true and it's unfair to blame these companies for fostering that behavior because they're just listening to their customers; or more likely, trying to lock them inside their corporate environment. So what? Make something better. Of course, this is easier said than done, but I hear the same complaints from chefs lamenting that most people would rather eat junk, unhealthy cheap food than a healthy meal. However, most people don't want to spend too much on a lunch meal, and more importantly, they want it fast. A restaurant lunch meal would take at least 10-12 minutes to prepare. The best way I've found to compete against fast food is to offer a buffet.

But my point is, don't just blame the companies if you're going that route. Blame the people as well. Re-educate them with a better service or website instead of just ranting if you want to change public opinion. But again, that's easier said than done. And as someone else has posted here, it takes a lot of effort/ talent/ luck to get an audience - something every youtube content-creator is competing for right now.

Dumbed down people create.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42286989)

... dumbed down internet services.

That's all that needs to be said here, things like facebook and tumbler/twitter, etc are just a reflection of the lack of intelligence of most of mankind.

Anil Dash's historical revisionism (4, Insightful)

timholman (71886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287051)

But we're going to face a big challenge with re-educating a billion people about what the web means, akin to the years we spent as everyone moved off of AOL a decade ago, teaching them that there was so much more to the experience of the Internet than what they know.

Anil Dash seems to remember things a bit differently than I do. We didn't "re-educate" the AOL users. Instead, those users turned the rest of the web into the trash pile so much of it is today.

The Twitter and Facebook fanatics of today (who know and care nothing about the way the web really works) are exactly the same people who would have been obsessively dialing into AOL twenty years ago. Nothing has changed with that demographic, and the idea that we are somehow going to "re-educate" them is laughably naive.

Today, we are still suffering from the consequences of the misguided belief that the average user could be "educated" to properly operate and maintain a general-purpose computer. The result? Huge botnets, DDoS attacks, and exploits at every turn. Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs had it exactly right - build a walled garden to keep those users from doing any more damage to themselves or to the rest of the net.

The "old web" is still out there. No one has taken it away from us. And if the teeming millions have no knowledge or appreciation of it, so what? As long as walled gardens keep them from ruining it for the rest of us, I fail to see the downside.

Ye Olde Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287307)

Whenever I'm feeling nostalgic for ye olde web, I just load up Geocitiesizer:

http://wonder-tonic.com/geocitiesizer/content.php?theme=2&music=6&url=tech.slashdot.org/story/12/12/14/148208/the-web-we-lost

/. where winers and losers come (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42287323)

Come on slashdot. There has to be something of value to publish other than a childish rant about the wealthy and the envy of a few.

It's a vast wasteland (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287401)

This is essentially a vast wasteland [wikipedia.org] repeat, updated for the 21st century.

The Accessibility We Lost (1)

Geste (527302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42287595)

Sharing concerns about the trend toward gated communities and loss of choices and freedom, I was very eager to read Anil's blog post.

Sadly, while the muted violet-and-grey theme may be very stylish and tasteful, I find that its lack of contrast makes in nearly impossible to read.

I love Lynx, but is that what I need to resort to on the World Wide Web to understand the points that Web advocates are trying to make?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...