I’m the last person on the internet to get to talking about this but I didn’t want to miss just how thoroughly Anil Dash kills the topic of the open web that we used to have and which we have lost in the name of convenience and networking. The key graf, I think, is this:
When you see interesting data mash-ups today, they are often still using Flickr photos because Instagram’s meager metadata sucks, and the app is only reluctantly on the web at all. We get excuses about why we can’t search for old tweets or our own relevant Facebook content, though we got more comprehensive results from a Technorati search that was cobbled together on the feeble software platforms of its era. We get bullshit 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.
Later on he wrote a follow-up about how we can reclaim the open web:
But the most important question we can ask is: How do we rebuild the positive aspects of the web we lost? There are a few starting points, building on conversations we’ve been having for years. Let’s look at the responsibilities we must accept if we’re going to return the web to the values that a generation of creators cared about.
Dash’s thoughts have generated some opinions in my own mind about how I’m going to change my own publishing in 2013. I *liked* that open web that existed as few as six or seven years ago. I *like* linking out to people and not running through any affiliate services or anything like that. I *like* the idea of open standards, even if I’m not technically savvy enough to contribute through any other action than usage, though I really should learn more. I *don’t* like walled gardens and proprietary networks that don’t let me export my stuff when I’m done with a particular platform. I *like* being able to control my online identity.
So let’s work to get back to that place.