Comments on: How capitalism breaks the web A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: absinthe Thu, 20 Dec 2012 23:56:23 +0000 hypermark,

Mid-Market and the Tenderloin *still* haven’t recovered from the hollowing out that resulted from that endless construction. Caen wasn’t being grouchy – the specific projects he was writing about had long-lasting deleterious effects on those neighborhoods. It’s a classic case of botched urban planning and a legitimate gripe. I don’t think Dash’s complaints will be nearly as relevant in 60 years.

By: hypermark Thu, 20 Dec 2012 21:38:26 +0000 Felix, when I read these type of “gold old days” pieces, I hearken back to a piece the late Herb Caen, the legendary columnist of the San Francisco Chronicle, once wrote a piece about the worsening state of San Francisco and, in particular, one of its main arteries, Market Street.

In it, he lamented about how this thoroughfare was always under construction, how the city’s charms and enduring traditions were getting swept aside by outsiders, and how the place was becoming less and less hospitable to locals and long-timers, forcing Caen to wonder if, perhaps, San Francisco’s best days were behind it.

Ah, but Caen was setting us up for an unexpected upper-cut, as at the tail end of the piece, he reveals (I am paraphrasing), “Would it surprise you to know that I wrote this piece way back in 1954?”

Caen’s point was that then, as now, every generation sees their generation as the Real Generation and the Right Approach, when in truth, progress just moves forward.

Hence, the locals of San Francisco, circa 1954, saw a city losing sight of its traditions and therefore, its magic. In truth, the city was just moving forward with the times.

Tech is no different.

By: fresnodan Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:13:14 +0000 Well said KenG_Ca

By: Anonymous Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:28:39 +0000 This open letter is right on.. the regulations in draft form are both chilling and wont work anyway. See their letter. — Eric Schidmt

By: RobinWinslow Wed, 19 Dec 2012 14:57:36 +0000 “or when everybody freely gave out their email address because no one worried about spam”

In my experience you can do this much better now than you ever used to be able to. Email spam has existed for ages, but I publish my email on my website without any obfuscation or anything and I don’t seem to be any more annoyed by spam than ever before, or than by anyone else.

By: stereoscope Wed, 19 Dec 2012 06:17:24 +0000 This actually struck me when watching the Olympic ceremonies. The big section with kids using the internet to communicate. It tries to show us how the internet changed everything, and how all of young adults’ interactions use the internet. And they even featured Tim Berners-Lee, the Brit who started it all. Right? Or did he?

Tim Berners-Lee made HTTP and HTML, the open standards of the web. But these kids bouncing around are not using the web. They’re using phones, and on them they are using Facebook, Twitter and such, as we saw put up on the screen in graphics (LOL IMHO, etc.). They’re using the internet, but not what Berners-Lee made. Berners-Lee made a protocol, but all these other things are captive services. Berners-Lee or even the world may have made the web it was, but it is American companies stitching the openness back closed and monetizing things. All those services actually being shown were American services (companies), not world-wide protocols.

I remember seeing some n00b back in the early 90s acting the internet tough guy. He said to another internet commenter on some board “don’t mess with me, I have friends at Netscape, I just say they word and they’ll shut down your website in the blink of an eye.”. It was hilarious, as young teens who don’t really understand much frequently inadvertently are.

But now it’s real. Netscape couldn’t close down your web page because your web page was on a server you or someone else ran using an open protocol and anyone could view it. Netscape couldn’t shut people’s websites. But Facebook sure can close down your Facebook page. And Twitter can lock you out too.

It’s kind of depressing really.

By: absinthe Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:09:18 +0000 The whole issue with not letting people add links to your page is bizarre. The ‘nofollow’ attribute exists for a reason. (It would be nice, for instance, if Counterparties used it for its “Stuff we’re not linking to” category.)

By: Engels Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:53:24 +0000 I agree that Twitter, Facebook and other social networks have killed blogging. I blogged from 2005 to 2011 almost non-stop, but in the later years everybody has abandoned their blogging platform. In usability terms blogging is hard, there are so many steps you have to go through in order to put up a post out there using blogging platforms, and in Twitter or FB, a post or a picture is just a click or two away. What sucks about not being able to have a wide range of bloggers producing material publicly is that most of us will miss out in whatever they write in their social networks. Nowadays you gotta friend them or follow their pages in order to know what’s going on.

Like Ken says above, not everybody can write, so for those who didn’t like writing so much, posting a picture on Twitter or FB, or liking stuff is much easier to try to come out with a post for an open audience.

I miss the blogging days, I feel I was much more informed when the information was out there in the open web rather than the way it is now. It is a good thing that at least some professional bloggers like Felix, Tyler Co, Seth Godin, Penelope, still do their thing, because it would be a pretty sad world to only be able to follow your posts through a fb page that not always broadcasts the posts, or that can’t be placed in a rss feed reader.

By: mw1 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:35:12 +0000 I agree, but then I think the better question is: do we have any evidence that the Good Internet is *smaller* now? Like most of the capitalist machine in music, television, and hollywood movies, I think it’s an illusion that it has *supplanted* the Good Stuff. It’s just broadened the market to all the people who want crummy stuff.

By: KenG_CA Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:00:12 +0000 I like it when people much younger than me sound a lot older. the “web we lost”? We didn’t lose anything, you just voluntarily stopped using things. You don’t have to use facebook or twitter or adsense or any of the things Dash lamented about. The web is what you want it to be, if you’re not happy with how it works for you, it’s pretty much your choice.

” “Blogging is hard“, which explains just how difficult it was to set up your own blog on your own website. Very little has changed since then,”

Blogging is very hard, but not because it’s difficult to set up your own blog. Seriously, Felix, how old are you? Go hire a teenager to show you how to set up a blog. The hard part, the really hard part, about blogging is the writing, which you seem to have no trouble with (even if I do disagree with you a few times a week). Writing is a lot of work, but setting up a blog with wordpress, or tumblr, or weebly, or squarespace, is relatively trivial. Bloggers tend to move to sites they don’t own not because of the difficulty of setting up and managing a blog (many of the bigger tech blogs use one of those platforms), but because of the audience, or the salary thing.

And for once I’ll agree with Andreessen, and thank him for his swipe at Romneyvision.

I don’t know if Dash needs to educate the masses about the limits of facebook and twitter; eventually those fads will get tiring for most (you can only withstand so much noise for a limited amount of time before you go deaf). Giving users flexibility and control doesn’t hurt profits, where does that idea come from?