You can split the web in many ways. Lionel Dricot wrote about one of those ways in a blog post called Splitting the Web. In it, he outlines an ever-increasing divide he sees on the web.

On the one hand you’ve got people experiencing the advertising-driven, tracking-addicted big players who provide a bloated and buggy user experience.

On the hand, you’ve got the more tech-savvy users with tracking blockers (misleadingly called ad blockers) using browsers and search engines that value privacy and performance.

It feels like everyone is now choosing its side. You can’t stay in the middle anymore. You are either dedicating all your CPU cycles to run JavaScript tracking you or walking away from the big monopolies. You are either being paid to build huge advertising billboards on top of yet another framework or you are handcrafting HTML.

Maybe the web is not dying. Maybe the web is only splitting itself in two.

This reminded me of a post by Chris. No, not The Great Divide, although that’s obviously relevant here. Chris wrote a post just yesterday called Other People’s Busted Software is an Opportunity:

One way to look at it is opportunity. If you make software that does work reliably, you’ve got a leg up. Even if your customers don’t tell you “I like your software because it always works”, they’ll feel it and make choices around knowing it.

I like that optimistic take. If the majority seems to be doubling down on more tracking, more JavaScript, and more enshittification, then there’s a potential opportunity there (acknowledging that you’ve still got to battle against inertia and sunk cost).

This reminds of a fantastic talk that Stuart gave a few years ago called Privacy could be the next big thing:

How do you end up shaping the world? By inventing a thing that the current incumbents can’t compete against. By making privacy your core goal. Because companies who have built their whole business model on monetising your personal information cannot compete against that. They’d have to give up on everything that they are, which they can’t do. Facebook altering itself to ensure privacy for its users… wouldn’t exist. Can’t exist. That’s how you win.

Have you published a response to this? :


Stuart Langridge

shamelessly boosting this because I’m mentioned in it, but that doesn’t alter how true it is :)


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Previously on this day

1 year ago I wrote Directory enquiries

The tyranny of search.

5 years ago I wrote Switching

I’m using Firefox (for now).

8 years ago I wrote Salt of the Earth

Days of space and salt.

10 years ago I wrote Brighton in September

Five weeks and counting to dConstruct 2013.

11 years ago I wrote Things

Read these things about things on the network.

14 years ago I wrote The HTML5 Equilibrium

Inside the troubled mind of HTML5.

15 years ago I wrote The Dark Knight on the silver screen

The popcorn, the people, the crappiness.

15 years ago I wrote That sound

Moved to tears by the voice of a robot.

20 years ago I wrote Baltimore

I’m in the States. Baltimore, to be precise.

21 years ago I wrote Milk appeal for pint-sized hedgehogs

The first-day goat’s milk of the female goat who’s just had kids is something we all take for granted but did you know that the same one-day old goat’s milk could save the life of a baby hedgehog?