I dug up my old personal website, as well as ones developed for friends, family, and professors. It's funny how I was longing for the good old days of the Internet in the early 2000's, at least for the simplicity of design (albeit, not the garishness). Everything was centered upon some form of content: a cookbook, poetry, scientific research. Most of the sites were developed using an HTML pre-processor or on an Apple IIe.
As much as I miss those days, I doubt that I would survive in the modern world of web development. Each of those sites were developed because someone had something to say. There was no pretense of building a reputation or making money. On the flip side, there was also no sense of being a voice lost in the wilderness. People you know would still go there and you may even receive a few appreciative notes from those who stumbled across your site.
It's so much fun rambling about the "good old days".
IIe? Sure you don't mean the iMac G3?
Some more details, for those who are interested:
My personal site and a friend's poetry site were created on an Apple IIe. I don't recall how the site was transferred to the server, but I definitely had the capability of doing so directly via modem and a dial-up shell account.
The family cookbook was created in HyperCard on a Macintosh SE, and later an SE/30. Some additional code was added to generate HTML files, which were then uploaded to the server via FTP.
The academic sites were created using an HTML pre-processor, possibly on an iMac G3 running NetBSD (though I did have several vintage Macs running NetBSD at the time).
I made some interesting choices back then, including using a Mac IIci to access the Internet via a cable modem. But the choices were either spend my money on an interesting hobby or spend it save up for a boring new computer. Clearly, I choose the former and eventually ended up with the latter.
1998 iMac G3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac_G3
People had been connecting mechanical Teletypes via modems since the 1950's.
Now we have just another pop culture. Sad.
But I still use IRC. It is interesting that most of (to me) relevant developers (system level development, ...) are still hanging there.
IRC is all textual and it was never filled with all the garbage you can see on web, but they did invent alternatives where all the pop culture went (discord O.o) while I can enjoy my peace on IRC.
I am really mourning about usenet. It was dying but still kicking, then google destroyed it with google groups.
If people back then could've played full screen interactive video on page load, they would have. Look at how popular Flash became.
I too still use IRC (although a lot less than I used to). I don't think it's really about interesting people vs. "pop culture" though, it's more of a generational thing. I'm sure today's relevant coders are more likely to be found on Discord than IRC.
That's quite unfortunate I might add, Discord is a bloated, centralized, closed source mess. But what can you do, it is shinier.
One of my websites (for my first startup - an ISP) used a server side include that called out to ping the client IP to inline either a static image or one of several "big" - by 1997 standards - animated GIFs by guessing at the client bandwidth based on ping time (yes, it was a very rough heuristic, but it worked surprisingly well at the time), because we wanted to be able to serve up a fancy animated logo to those whose connection could handle it...
If we could have served up something fancier we certainly would have.
I think in general what’s difficult these days is bringing communities together - there’s too much noise and promotion, too many places for people to be. so you get the situation you mention above - a lot of unanswered questions in a discord server with a perpetual churn of users looking for a community that fits what they’re looking for.
feels like people are less willing to become a part of a community - forum, IRC, discord, whatever - these days either. but I have a feeling that’s because I’m more out of the loop... FB groups seem to constantly pop off
That, and eroom's law applied to increasing bandwidth.
I was one of the average people. I started surfing the web on the day that AOL made it possible for customers to do so, rather than keeping us in their walled garden. Yes, I picked up a CD with the new version at the supermarket.
I remember reading about, and almost grasping, the article about hypertext in Byte Magazine. The idea as presented was that the tags controlled the formatting of a page to some extent, but also allowed people to have customized readers, e.g., for the blind. And if someone composed their HTML well, you could usually read it in raw format with minimal difficulty.
My personal web page is still written in plain HTML on a text editor, and would stand a pretty good chance of being readable on a 1990s machine.
What the Web evolved into was more like (to my mind) a general purpose GUI framework, and with it came the explosion of GUI bloat and constant revision, that we also experience on the desktop today.
Since I was dialing in with a slow modem, I learned the setting in Netscape to disable displaying images unless I clicked on them. Most websites remained functional that way for a few years, at least until broadband arrived in most cities.
In those days I still dialled up daily with UUCP just to get my mail and news :P
Even in early 2000s lots of non geek boards with people just chillin. There were issues but less intense, less frequent, less invasive.
There’s so much history that had already been and gone by 2000 that it’s a real stretch to argue the middle third of the web as it’s early period.
I was talking about the phpbb era
There's this website https://www.usenetarchives.com/ providing an alternative, recently seen it on Hacker News.
The ad industry just optimizes for what companies want to promote and what consumers pay attention to.
Even the parts of the Internet without ads are different these days.
They're right in a particularly narrow-minded way that only considers the "modern web" to be the public feed on Reddit and the worst parts of Twitter, and corporate sites and the effect of SEO. But it's also the case that the quality of content on the modern web far surpasses that of the early web because so many more people, representing a greater diversity of cultures and ideas, are on it and able to express themselves.
So if that's "Eternal September" then I think it can be argued that it was as much evolution as devolution.
Yes, that is exactly correct. The people who made the web, and built a beautiful space were the 'rightful owners'. A few outsize capitalists then saw that they could extract value from this made world -- and make themselves rich -- by encouraging and enabling colonization of that once peaceable space. It was a form of cultural theft and appropriation -- indirect through corporate marketing and lawyers.
If we follow the argument of 'diversity everywhere', no culture could be any culture anywhere because it would "lack diversity". One grey world is not a win.
The existing pre-93 culture was wholly supplanted and destroyed by the "new and improved" "higher quality" culture that replaced it. Of course, that estimation of 'better' and 'higher' is evaluate from the mindset of the colonizers -- not at all from the perspective of whomever came before.
Moreover, its not just the corporate profiteering -- that just opened the door for all of the colonizers. It is all of the self righteous fake "representative" identity virtue signaling that goes with it. Capitalism and wall street corporate profits enabled an entire world of trolls -- who then use the claim of colonization on others to hide their own prior actions in kind. And this is an improvement?
The internet circa 1997 was an unsupervised, all-summer festival for free spirits & adventurers. Skinny dipping, legumes, transcendental dance and chance meetings that change the course of your life.
Now it's a residential school. 56% of the cultural machinery must be dedicated to dealing with behavioural problems in the cafeteria.
Yeah, "addictive" is usually not the same as "good" or "good for you."
Or any measure that doesn't feed nicely into monetization.
People also got lazy, why bother hosting your own website when you can just upload to Instagram ?
Why maintain bookmarks when you can follow others?
I don’t think we can blame all of the current state of things on “attention grabbers”. Consumers and creators are also partly the issue.
Why bother changing your car oil when you can take it to the service?
Why bother cooking your own meal when you can just go to the restaurant?
Why bother sewing your own dress when you can just go to the mall?
It's not lazyness, it's convenience. Internet just got mainstream and popular, so people lacking time, interest or skills to create their own websites just use pre-built solutions. It's how everything works in real life.
The restaurant does not take away the meal from you after you ordered it, because you are not woke enough.
If you buy a dress, you own it.
On Wordpress, Instagram and YouTube you are just a sharecropper with no rights.
They don't lack any of time or skills. Take the example of websites of local sport clubs: they all had a proper website with all info and news and stuff. Now they haven't any more, they've changed to a shitty Facebook page with everything mixed together into an incredible mess. (By the way, the traditional website is typically still running fine without maintenance, it just hasn't been updated since around 2015-2017.)
I don't think the people from your small town random sport club, who built and ran the site in the 2000s, had special computers skills or time compared to those of today.
I think this “everyone got lazy” is overblown. Yes some folks are lazy, but they were the folks that used Microsoft Frontpage in 1998 :)
I understand the sentiment, but convenience isn’t always the right thing for us.
It happens when a service get too many users, and it ends up like everything else.
Instagram & facebook are a global scale economic mammoth that subsist on promoting the dynamics you are lamenting don't exist.
Maybe people have a lazy tendency. They can use that to build structure. Once it exists, it also becomes true that if you want people to read your post, it needs to be on instagram, fb or whatnot. If you want people to see your video, it needs to be released on youtube.
Even if people were willing to host their own video, youtube has all the viewers. A viewer/user on a centralised platform is worth more (economically) than elsewhere.
So we wanted a website. Previously I had already "made websites" by saving as HTML in Word, so let's go! But I figured we need to do better than Word, because Word's output was messy and often rendered broken in browsers, so I found an HTML tutorial and I managed to hand build a simple site, with the aid of shareware Windows software for creating button images with cheesy fonts and another one to generate thumbnails of images etc. We then wanted a discussion board, so I figured out how to install phpBB.
It was only in my mid twenties that I started to look into Linux. All my peers had been using Windows my whole life and I was a bit afraid of becoming a full on social outcast Linux nerd. But then in my twenties I lost my urge to conform so hard and overall came to like Linux. Overall I'm now quite comfortable with the command line, shell scripting and so on.
My point is, I was nothing special of a geek and had no geek peers in my teens but through necessity I picked up geek skills to make a website, to fix computers, to pirate stuff, to mod games etc., which led me down the path of pursuing CS as a career. I know I wouldn't have enjoyed it if it was presented to me as some gameified app to learn programming with some upbeat cheerful mentor. I loved it for the exploration, for the "nobody told you you could or should do this but can you make it work?".
Would I have become a CS person in today's climate where we would have just made a Facebook group to upload our class trip photos without learning any HTML? Perhaps, maybe through game modding. But do kids today have the same chances to mod games with all the DRM and always-online monitoring software? Would I have learned about TCP/IP if everything worked out of the box? Although I'd love to say I learned it all out of intellectual curiosity, in the moment I picked up these skills because I had something concrete in mind that I wanted to make, and learning these was the only way. If there was and easier way, I would have been lazy and in turn perhaps miss out on all the wonders of this field.
On the other hand there's just so much helpful material out there today, you can buy electronics hobby kits on the cheap, Raspberry Pi, all kinds of programming tutorial.
Any input from today's teens/early twenties how this works today? How and why do kids pick up tech skills nowadays that everything is so convenient and streamlined to consumption and locked down for inspection?
My passion for computer hardware (and to a lesser extent software) comes purely from my childhood, I'd say. It had a great effect, and actually led me to many paths I wouldn't have taken otherwise. Also, I gained non-tech skills as well, like my handling of the English language, for instance.
I can't answer your question, since I have had quite a different experience, but the reason my acquaintances are picking up tech skills is because it's the future and it's where the money is, or because their parents told them to. This is really unfortunate because they don't actually bother picking up any tech skills at all unless they absolutely need it (which is very rare in 2020 due to how everything is so convenient / available). However, I am from a poor country, so I am not the best person to answer this.
Personally, I prefer the old internet. Not only due to what I mentioned, but also because the current internet is just full of messed up things like the current state of social media (really, HN is the only one I tolerate) and how rooted it has become, or how people in general became more afraid of expressing themselves on the internet, and so much more.
Most of them seemed to have taken CS classes in high school and enjoyed it reasonably enough or have had CS recommended to them as a major since you could easily get a job in it (like the other reply to your comment suggested).
On the other hand, my interest in CS and programming was a lot more old school. I got on the internet for the first time in the mid 2000s and learned to make basic websites for my hobby and then JS, PHP, MySQL to make them interactive. I'm not sure I would've followed the career path I'm in now if I'd been born 5-10 years later. The epicenter of my hobby moved to FB/Discord/Instagram/Youtube and if I were growing up now I think I would've tried to share my hobby through those platforms and therefore never gotten into what I did now. I'm lucky I was born the time I am and thanks for an interesting question to think about!
Consolidation. Surfing the web used to be about discovery. I was into digital art back then and there were so many emerging artists with exciting personal sites. You actual found things through page links whether directly or though things like web rings.
Now I visit a couple of sites routinely and ignore everything else. HN is the closet I come to social media.
She recently told me she wouldn't get a flu shot this year, and I know where she got that idea. I got mad, and gave her a lecture about the insane anti-vax people, and the many ways in which their beliefs are complete bullshit.
But my anger wasn't at her, but rather frustration that Facebook might indirectly cost her her life.
Some days I feel like null routing Facebook on her router. I won't do that of course, because it's not my job to interfere with her choices. But I'm becoming increasingly concerned.
- old internet was the product of the previous generation culture, internet was a side piece, a tiny new button. It might influence the desires of users at the time.
- economy trying to leverage internet as a new phase in customer access and higher business profits (never good.). Old economy was also not in the best shape and now everybody thinks or wants to make it's own little place on the web game. People are not here to chill they're here to win something. Vastly different mindset.
- a false assumption that connecting everything with computers would make our lives lean, instead of separate programs, computers and persons.. you have one cloud thing where everything can be shared. Obvious idea in retrospect .. but releasing friction is also letting weird unplanned stuff happen without control. Look at how much things now have limits (smartphone time etc).
- naivety regarding 'spaces'.. internet was a hippie thing kinda, but whenever systems grow they start to influence the whole thing (facebook,..)
Each and every one of those low quality pages you refer to is plastered with ads. That is the very reason for their existence.
Of course, the old web wasn't perfect, but it was very different. What's surprising is how few the holdouts are. Wikipedia is one of those few.
I recently read someone here arguing that "without ads, there's no incentive for anyone to create new content!"
If you're older, you can't help but know better. The majority of the web, in its first few years, was full of "content" and there was, broadly speaking, zero financial incentive.*
* To be fair, there were banner ads and, once Netscape introduced popup windows, even ads that hijacked your screen... you'd have been nuts to take that as an incentive though. People don't write essays for $2.50 a month.
In grand scheme of things amount of content was abysmal compared to today. And today you have way way more of free content, created without financial initiatives by people who are passionate about the subject. Why? Because human nature didn’t change, and we got many orders of magnitude more people online.
We can learn from past generations, especially about large societal and cultural issues, even if those past generations didn't have things like penicillin or TikTok.
The civilization won't go anywhere, we're too smart now, too capable, tiktok or not.
Why? Faster loading, fewer chances to track me, less ability to show me ads, more legibility, minuscule footprint to hack me, no ability to show me share buttons.
I think kids today would agree with this, it's just that no one tried to explain it to them. Engagement-driven social media is addictive because it's designed to be so, but once you've understood the difference, there's no going back to it.
Engagement-driven kids are not dumb. They live in a different world, and it's their world now. The way we look at older people who can't figure out computers, they will soon be looking at us.
Engagement-driven web keeps pushing you to see content outside of your network because that's what makes them money. So, yes, it's a substitute for TV in a sense. I used to watch TV in my young teens, but now YouTube replaced it. The problem is that it effectively discourages person-to-person communication that people want and rely upon.
It's as if your phone line was free, but your calls with your friends and family would get interrupted with commercials and news broadcasts every 5 minutes.
You can still find a lot of it on millionshort.com, where they remove the top million results from other search engines.
The web had existed previously to that moment for 15 years, even with popular usage. It's nature changed significantly when people were no longer consciously sitting down at their desk to use the internet.
Unless your community is paid for by some benefactor, you usually run out of money convincing people to pay for it, or end up copying the structure of Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram etc.
Also the "lens of money" does not distort things here (as much).
Capitalism came to the internet.
Things like non-anonymous tracking, re-targeting, personalized advertisements and bloat needs to go IMHO, but the new technologies can stay.
That said what destroyed the early Internet culture is not technology but business interests: Today, if you search for anything that has any kind of business relevance you'll almost exclusively find shallow, SEO optimized texts written by content producers. The early Internet wasn't yet commercialized so strongly and relied more on hand curation, so you could still find more interesting content that was written without commercial interests.
The progress that CSS(+HTML) has made in the last 20 years is incredible: I still remember using ugly DIV tricks to get the luxury of rounded corners and shadows, which work out of the box in modern CSS. Or how hard it was to align content, which is still not super trivial but so much easier with things like flexbox and CSS grid layouts (which before also required ugly hacks like floating DIVs and clearing techniques).
I think it has also never been easier to self-publish and self-host HTML websites, and no one forces you to use JS or frontend frameworks. We e.g. build all our professional websites using static HTML and we host them ourselves. For non-programmers there are tons of great tools available to visually design webpages as well.
JS is also fantastic, and frameworks like React make it so much easier to write clean, good-looking web apps. I still remember the tangle of code that most websites were made of in the early 2000s, with jQuery and a dozen other frameworks mixed together and poorly bundled. Today we have a great compiler chain to which you can feed JS, (S)CSS, YAML, JSON, Typescript, images, fonts etc. and that produces clean, minified and (if you like) separate bundles for consumption by the web browser. I'll take that any day over the mess that was manual DOM manipulation and manual script inclusion and bundling. I also don't think web apps were inflicted onto us by a "browser cartel", it just turns out that they make development easier in many circumstances, so most companies adopted them. I wrote traditional web apps before e.g. using Django (and Perl before that) and I vastly prefer the separation of concerns that a single-page app with a REST (or GraphQL if you're feeling fancy) backend provides me with.
And I really don't think it's "impossible" to build a basic site that doesn't suck, where do you get that notion from? Look e.g. at https://jgthms.com/web-design-in-4-minutes/, he creates a nice-looking website with only a few lines of HTML and CSS (most of the modern CSS he uses wouldn't work 10 years ago btw).
And you can't encode absolutely everything in HTML. You lose the ability to do stuff like CSS animations, some kinds of responsive design, and otherwise use more interesting selectors that allow you to really make the most of your web browser's renderer.
And you can't encode more than the simplest of simple interactivity with it, for which a pinch of vanilla JS can be the cure (not the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink list you provided above).
I find it hard to read comments like these as written in good faith. At best this one reads as well-intentioned but missing some crucial part of the understanding somewhere, and at worst the long list of unnecessary and unrelated technologies are intended to make the comment merely appear as if there is some actual deeper understanding.
Also, it's simply not true that you can specify all rendering information in HTML, there are a lot of things like media queries or pseudo-class selectors like ":hover" that can't be inlined and need to reside in a stylesheet.
I started building websites in 1997 with FrontPage as a teenager. It was horrible - mostly because I was teenager and didn’t have anything interesting to say. It also wasn’t easy and took forever to get anything done. (So just slap an in construction gif in it.)
Now I can build anything I want quickly.
Writing raw html is very inefficient. If you want a friendly to create content, use Markdown.
If you want to structure your content or have some standard components, use React.
Use a static site compiler like Gatsby - that combines it all and makes your site compete with any hand-written html and still contain lazy-loaded interactive elements.
My blog is a perfect example: I can write my blog posts in markdown, paste images in as needed, run a build script, and push the changes. It takes about 1 minute to build and deploy.
But, at the same time, I can hide an entire text adventure terminal simulator in the header bar (that lazy loads on click).
My site loads as fast as any static site, but it transforms into full interactive quickly.
Best of both worlds.
So I can produce well formatted content, cool components, or even multiplayer games - it’s perfect.
We have a paradise of tools - it’s a creator’s dream - (once you figure out the right combination)
Having web browsers disable third-party cookies by default is extremely easy to implement and would already be a good start. The only good use case enabled by them is comment widgets like Disqus. And it's an okay sacrifice in exchange for defeating most forms of tracking.
I get only links to stores, first two pages at least. Is it because VPN and no cookies? I started adding "site:reddit.com" often.
The creator’s page has a great little rant too which I agree with intensely:
Bring back the old web.
>I don't even know where one site ends and one site begins anymore. Were they all created by the same person? Are all our sites wearing the same uniform like in some distopian novel?
Well, they all have the same bootstraps https://getbootstrap.com
Now look at the mess we’ve created.
1. Popup randomly spits IN YOUR FACE - "Do you want to sign up for my <some stupid email series about making money>?"
2. Some dumb chatbot destroys your ear drum with a sudden bleep - "Hi, do you have any questions about our pricing yada yada? Reply here"
3. clicks download link - Fancy form popups up - "Enter your email to receive the PDF"
4. Opens website - "We care about your privacy - look at all these 200 million cookies we collect about you. Accept to continue"
5. Random Google login prompt with my face and email on a third party website I just discovered exists on the internet - Would you like to sign in into this website using your email firstname.lastname@example.org?
6. Some marketing guru who "made it" flaunting his Lamborghini teaching you how to get rich online with a small greyed text next to his fucking name "Sponsored"
Sigh. I really wish we could undo a lot of things in the web development space and kept it simple.
Just the categories they show (which includes 'ping applications' and 'finger applications') captures the Internet of that era well.
These days, search results are all weighted, especially on app stores, so you'd end up with everyone playing Among Us and never finding games like Predynastic Egypt or King of Dragon Pass.
I really do think there’s a gap in the modern web for discovering stuff like this. Google only wants to show you what social networks and major entities have for your query, and SEO spam buries everything else.
The top search result has 9 (!) ads, mentions the book, but butchers everything that makes the recipe good. It shows rave reviews and a rating of 4.8. It probably is better than what everyone's mom taught them, and better compared to a generic tin can sauce. But I think the old school algorithm of "best selling cookbook" does better.
Try looking for other heavily SEO-ed things and it's even more hopeless: weight loss, business advice, games.
In a place where everyone can start an app-store, people will need to carve out their niche. People could then start hand-curated appstores. For a niche. Put together with care and effort.
A little like-f-droid, but much more common and therefore covering a lot more niches. A "christian appstore", "socialist appstore", "appstore for old phones" and so on.
Kindof like the old "manually-created" indexes, but for modern times, in which phones are the primary gateway to the internet.
I was thinking the other day about non-demand TV and radio, and how it was obviously worse in many ways than what we have now. But I spent many a happy afternoon watching a movie or classic TV show that I'd never heard of because I had no options, and really enjoyed myself.
Back in the day, you'd have your Simpsons and Power Rangers and just learn to enjoy it and talk about it with all your friends.
I think algorithms are built wrong too. We'd probably click on some show with a sexy model, or a rom-com twist on a zombie flick, or some reality cooking show with celebrities, or a gritty remake of a children's show. We don't really intend to watch it. But they pique curiousity and a little disgust. The algorithms register these clicks and long views as an "interest", and gives us more of these clickbait-ish shows.
I think what would work is simply narrowed down genres, say, Animation > Children > Horror (e.g. Adventure Time) or Animation > Adult > Tragicomedy (e.g. BoJack Horseman). Past that, just arrange at random, alphabetically, and not even by popularity.
Yeah this was really obvious to me in some of their Marvel stuff. Overall enjoyable enough, but only if I binged it while doing something else. Pacing and a lot of dead air time was otherwise a huge problem.
The same thing has happened across other visual fields. World leaders all (mostly) wear the same style of Western business suit. Cars basically all look the same. Etc. It’s been a global disaster for diversity.
> You are <counter>th visitor since 1998/09/05
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Anyway super excited to see people talking about my project here. I originally built it just for myself. I have a healthy collection of old computers. I'm really happy that other people are getting something out of it.
I see some good feature suggestions. Keep them coming. I have an ever growing backlog of things I want to add to the site. And one by one I do what I can to add them.
Just a couple weeks ago someone mentioned on a facebook group that they wish they could use wikipedia from an old browser. So I built a proxy for that.
One issue I've been struggling with since the beginning is continually getting flagged by cyber security tools as a phishing site. Anytime this happens all I have to do is contact the security company and without question they lift the blacklist status of my site. But none of them will tell me anything I can change to avoid these false positives proactively. If anyone has concrete advice on this please let me know.
Paraphrasing Alan Kay on the growth of programming languages and personal computing in the 70s vs 80s, it became something to learn, ossified in time, not something that could be recreated, remixed, rethought.
This is normal with technology adoptions. Eventually it will be disrupted (it already is on the fringes), this just tends to take decades.
“The perspective on humanity I would choose is that “we are the species that fools itself” — in fact we even pay to be fooled — and we have been fooling ourselves for our entire 200,000 years.... Every human being is born with the potential to learn to see as Helen Keller learned to see – with their hearts, bodies, spirit and minds — and to learn to be as vividly alive and human as Helen Keller learned to be.” -AK
"A talent for making up cute names to replace 'layoff' such as; reduction in force, right-sizing, down-sizing, early retirement, etc., is a plus. "
Curious that what ought to be apostrophes are corrupted and substituted with � .
1. Visit counter
2. Marquee, blink, Iframes, MIDI background music, tiled image background
3. Tucows, IRC, FTP, Newsgroups...
4. Winamp, Sonique, Eudora, Encarta, Download managers.
5. UFOs, chupacabra, Mars pyramids, Horoscope, Britney Spears.
It does have a counter. Tucows does work. And I have sunk a good amount of time into making this VRML museum. http://vrml.theoldnet.com
Perhaps the Tucows link should redirect to an archived version from 1995.
A very much missed mixture of political involvement, technology and commerce. It's really hard to imagine in 2020, say, Vodaphone, or Verizon, taking a stance in the war in Syria, for example.
These kind of reports are some of the things that I miss on the new internet. I did have a site of my own where I also wrote like this, mainly amateur astronomy (which was my main hobbie back then). Nowadays, because of smartphones you get every information on live. Sometimes I just like to know the things after they've occurred, when the person sits on front of a computer after some days (without access to computers), and writes things as he remembers them..
So, i think it's the goal. Maybe browser vendor api needs to adopt it, else we have to have abstract over native browser api to do amazing things with browser.
Also it's funny that SEO for a while almost felt like creating a successful webring because it's all based on how many sites link back to you.
Today is another factor, less simpler, more revenue.
What i really want is to achieve both: sharing and revenue.
I read through the comments and there is a lot of good philosophical and political conversations going on.
I usually stay out of politics and preaching to strangers in general but here is my take on what I think happened, is happening and needs to change going forward. If I can move anyone's mindset a little bit then that's a win.
The problem? We as consumers don't pay the real cost for software and services.
That's it. Everything bad that we can point our finger at stemmed from this.
Look at any industry in the internet world, find something you don't like about it and then just ask, is this because we don't pay the real cost of this?
Mobile gaming is an obvious example. The whole industry is a disgusting mess all because nobody wants to pay for the games.
Business will always find another way. It's pretty crazy how some of the wealthiest tech companies don't directly collect money for their products.
It makes you wonder as an aspiring entrepreneur why you would ever start an honest B2C business in 2020 when a) you know nobody wants to pay for stuff and b) you could make so much more money by selling their data.
I'm not saying anything new here, just that maybe we should put a firm foot down and only use things that you can buy with money with ZERO strings attached.
We should have done this in the first place decades ago but the Napsters and such really got us accustomed to having exactly what we want and not having to pay for it. Something we were quite comfortable with.
We should have paid the real cost for things back then and maybe it wouldn't have lead business to invent new ways to generate revenue.
I believe we are paying for that mistake now and I worry that maybe we can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Will companies turn down the chance to monetize you even if you pay for a subscription? Why would they stop if they don't have to?
What is the real cost of the service or product? What is the dollar figure that makes us whole?
Hell, I pay $120 a year for a travel VISA and they still spy on my purchases. We have been doing this since what the 80's?
What's changed? Well AI and Big Data changed. As a human it's hard, if not impossible, to understand how the exact same data available to you, to review as you see fit, if given to a machine could determine all kinds of things that you couldn't have predicted.
And the internet itself has made it way easier to supply this vast amount of data like never before. Businesses used to analyze your credit card purchases. Now, anything and everything.
So what is the true cost? Well I don't know but think about this. Say you pay $100 for a Google Home speaker. $100 isn't nothing, but what did you really buy with that money? My answer is you bought the hardware. But the hardware is useless without the service, not unlike a cell phone. Are you paying a monthly subscription for the Google Home Service?
I'm not even sure if $100 bought you the hardware. It could be subsidized by the company, they will make the money back on you later don't worry.
Just recently spotify had a promotion where you would get a free google home mini. Great sign me up, wait what's this? I have to link spotify to my google account to quality for the promotion? This gives Google access to my spotify listening habits?
How strange to think this deal could be worth it to Google. They're taking a $50 hit on every customer. It's not like it is a subscription service, where they could give the hardware away for free and do the razor blade model for recurring revenue.
I think it's safe to say your personal music listening habits is somehow worth at least $50 to Google.
Did you know in the 1980's it cost $499 for spreadsheet software? It didn't matter which program, $499 across the board.
What changed between now and then? Who would pay $499 for a boring spreadsheet app? No one.
Who uses boring spreadsheet apps for the most important parts of life? Everyone.
Still, spreadsheet software needs high-skilled people to make the product. How will they get paid if you don't pay the sticker price? Well, Google makes a decent spreadsheet program. I use it all the time. It's free. So I suppose they got paid to make that somehow.
I'm not trying to directly single out Google here, just what easily came to mind.
Anyway, blaming us, the humans is only one side of the story. The other side is the business practices. To me it seems simple. The same sociological techniques that worked in the land of the infomercial has been amplified on the internet. It certainly doesn't help that technology is so good you can build professional quality video content with basically no investment.
The internet has been the great equalizer for humanity. In the best of ways and the worst all the same.
Oh, those were the days.
There goes the next few nights.
Not sure if that is a joke or not, but I do like it :D