Much of our courage and support comes from the people we read and talk to and love online, often on the very networks that expose us—and our friends—to genuine enemies of freedom and peace. We have to keep connected, but we don’t have to play on their terms.
Whereas before content used to be spread out on numerous domains in numerous ways, content now mostly makes its home on the three domains that are most hostile to thoughtful human discussion: Twitter, Medium, and Facebook.
So what? you may ask..
Think about how many times you’ve tweeted. Or written or commented on a Facebook post. Or started a Medium draft. These are all our words, locked in proprietary platforms that controls not only how our message is displayed, but how we write it, and even more worrying, how we think about it.
A list of books that have been published in their entirety on the web. If you know of any others, please contribute.
An in-depth, thoroughly-researched look at the threatened health of the web. It’s grim reading, for the most part, but there’s a glimmer of hope towards the end.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an x-ray that could peer into the true intention behind words on a screen? Sadly we don’t have that x-ray yet (for most of humanity’s existence, we had body language to enrich our words and enhance understanding, but we live in interesting times where so much, perhaps even the majority, of our communication lacks body language) and so we have to be mindful of how our words might be perceived, and what the ramifications of publishing them might be. That’s not to say we should hold off completely, but it does mean we should be mindful if we’re to be most effective.
The latest piece from Jonathan Harris explores online life in all its mundanity, presenting it in an engaging way, all the while trying to make you feel bad for doing exactly what the site is encouraging you to do.
I was going to say that this is a really lovely post from Jim about Second Life, but it’s no actually about Second Life at all: it’s about a person.
The Internet, day one. A sad tale of data loss.
A good recap of the recent online/offline/does-it-really-matter discussion …although it does lend a bit too much credence to the pronouncements of that king of trolls, Nicholas Carr.
A nice timeline visualisation of recent history.
Long Bets - The original URL for this prediction (www.longbets.org/601) will no longer be available in eleven years.
This is my prediction. If you think it’s wrong, challenge it. We shall then partake in a wager.
Brilliant; just brilliant. Connor O’Brien remains skeptical about the abstract permanence of “the cloud.” The observations are sharp and the tone is spot-on.
If your only photo album is Facebook, ask yourself: since when did a gratis web service ever demonstrate giving a flying fuck about holding onto the past?
The BBC’s decision to actively delete old content (rather than simply allowing it to take up some space on a server) really gets my blood boiling.
The BBC asked the public to contribute their memories of World War Two to a website between June 2003 and January 2006…” and five years later some suit decided to bin them.
Aaron Swartz gets technical about online digital preservation.
An accurately-downbeat look at digital preservation.
A beautiful reminder.
"Not only did the head of Waterstone's underestimate the internet. Even Rupert Murdoch was caught out"
Suck it up, ya fixed width losers: your favourite escape clause has just been deflated. "Twenty college-age students read news articles displayed in 35, 55, 75, or 95 characters per line (cpl) from a computer monitor. Results showed that passages formatte