The Social Web As Background Noise

It feels, at some level, that it lets the people in charge off the hook. Thoughts?

Adam Tinworth

Having shared Euan Semple’s thought-provoking post, Adam got a fairly quick reply from Pete Brown which only further provoked me to once again consider a general viewpoint I have been wrestling with for the past few years.

An important point of context within these issues that is often neglected: these companies, this version of the web, a lot of it is US-centric. They are literally constructs made from the culture of the US, and whilst of course they are also built with a diversity of viewpoints I think it is vital to remember that there is a difference in how these things are built even compared to that which is most similar, for example Canada.

I don’t know, maybe I live in too much of a bubble of my circumstances in life but the fact remains that I have yet to meet people who are so desparately in need of the connected web on our own little island, as compared to seemingly large numbers of Americans for whom the internet has been something of a lifeboat. Not to say it isn’t significant here, of course it is, but rather that there is difference in the difference even between our two relatively similar nations… that the environment is different, there are different motivations for the various part of our societies, and that’s before we even get to Europe and further afield.

I’ve just never quite felt that if I were to sacrifice the internet my life would be inescapably ruined; at least with regard to the social, overly worked part of the internet where the silos and the like exist. As such I have never quite felt that this is necessarily a socio-economic aspect of our lives that requires constant and immediate care. In many ways, it truly is what it is and little else.

Sometimes it’s ok to slow down.

When we slow down, it becomes much easier to avoid mistakes and hurt people. We can take a breath, take more than a single look at something, and consider different points of view.

So. Seriously.

Just… slow… down. Everything will be ok. 👍

My most recently gained anxiety, borne entirely as a result of friction; the incredible form of my SE, and the decreasing functionality of the apps therein.

My anxiety re: open vs closed web has turned into background noise. I now just live with this demon.

With regard to app pricing, I see a lot of anti-subscription people who offer praise and thanks for the “lifetime” option.


  • do you believe that literally means you are guaranteed to use it for the rest of your life?
  • how do you define “lifetime”?

With the open web, all of this scraping and embedding and the like… feels so invasive and violent.

Also feels like the horse has very much bolted at this point. Maybe this is why people concentrate on making things for closed, locked-down systems instead of the web… 🤔

One of my biggest problems with the IndieWeb movement is how the DIY nature of it is often paired with a reckless, entitled attitude.

If you’re going to touch my website with sharing-based technology, you had better make sure it doesn’t turn into theft.

Every website of a podcast show should have a broadly-agreed set of information. If I can’t take a quick look at your episode list and easily see the length of each episode then your website is not fit for purpose.

Seriously. Get your fucking shit together.

Currently resisting the urge to become a font nerd. Unsure how long that’ll last. 😬

I see foldable phones turned out to be a very serious product category and not a gimmick at all.

“It’s going to look pretty good, then, isn’t it,” said War testily, “the One Horseman and Three Pedestrians of the Apocralypse.”

– Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

You know that thing where we don’t rely on soul-crushingly awful corporations to do that thing where we, you know, find information?

Yeah, let’s bring that back.

I tried to use a feature in Instagram but it doesn’t work on the SE. The screen is literally not designed for this size.

What is the feature? Oh, just one that makes it easier for you to take control of a profile. Nothing important. 🙄

> sees WhatsApp banner on Netflix

> immediately takes a much more critical eye to everything watched on Netflix

I’m going to spend a lot of time investigating if it is possible to do the following:

Use software, and use the web without any of my activity being tracked.

That includes finding the research of other people, from across different parts of the world and our societies.

I have yet to find a network that is as nearly as bullet-proof as bookmarks+feeds.

Instead of trying that shiny new app or service or platform, which you inevitably not use very much before moving onto the next distraction, try asking yourself this:

What do I want to do?

Then when you are trying things out, ask yourself:

What is this in service of?

Why couldn’t Keybase stay away from the platform disease? Why ruin an authenticator by trying to be a social platform, at which you will inevitably be terrible?

Just make good things that have limited scope. Focus on your thing and make it better and better, that’s it.

I’m gonna drop WorkFlowy, for good this time. The way they hijack the keyboard when multi-selecting items, specifically in iOS, feels terrible.

Now to decide if I need a cross-platform outliner that better treats the lists as plain text, or if I just don’t need one at all.