demise of the open web, yet again

More handwringing over how the web has gotten worse. There have always been lots of The Web is Dead articles – here’s one from 2010!, but Denny Vrandečić mentioned more recent ones in a great Facebook post, including Why the Internet Isn’t Fun Anymore, Cory Doctorow’s The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok, Fixing Search, Google has sent internet into ‘spiral of decline’, claims DeepMind co-founder, The Dark Forest and the Cozy Web, …

If only publishing thoughts and images to your own web site had gotten as easy and good-looking before posting to social media sites took over; and Google had stuck with RSS readers and the iGoogle home page; and a federated identity program like Mozilla Persona had taken off (instead of having to create a login to each site); and search engines did a better job of indexing trackbacks/backlinks/pingbacks; and an easy way to identify your public and private posts (restricted to a particular group) had been established. Then Denny would have written this on his blog, I would have seen it on my iGoogle home page or feed, I would have replied on his site or written a follow-up post on my site (I did, this one, but Facebook will never acknowledge it), and search engines would notice and promote the interlinking because that’s the very essence of A WEB.

I kept hoping it would happen, I kept hoping ISPs would offer basic web hosting instead of leaving it up to commercial ad-supported sites, I hoped that when Google+ (circles!) failed, Google would have fallen back to heavily promoting the open web to fight the rise of Facebook, then Snapchat, then Instagram, then TikTok, …

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Thanks to anyone who still comes to personal web sites like this one!

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