Scripting News: Will Twitter pull another "fast one?"
The way it feels is they're talking over my head at some invisible diety. If only they would hear me, they would love me so much better. It's a prayer to the Algorithm God. But the only people who can really hear you are your friends, who are mortal, and are subject to the same constraints as you.
It's sad. We could be sharing our gifts with each other, instead our fists wave at the sky, like grandpa cursing the cloud!
Tom Foremski said yesterday on Twitter: "Unfortunately the silos are winning." I thought about that for a while, and I don't think it's right. Let me explain.
1. Sure there are more silos all the time. Places that force you to give them your ideas on an exclusive basis, so that people in other silos, or on the open web, can't see them. Unless they visit the silo of course. An example. Yesterday my friend Jay Rosen posted a great essay to Ello. If you want to read it you have to go there. If you follow Jay on Twitter or Facebook, or read his blog, the only way you can find out about it is if someone posts a link to it there. And if Ello goes kaput, so does Jay's post. All record of his judgement, gone. Not a good way for an academic to work, imho.
2. But the open web is bigger than any of the silos. This post, for example, is on the open web. What that means is that it is included in my feed. The source code for the post is public, it could be rendered in any context. Especially if I post a pointer to it. A smart CMS could load in all the text from the feed itself! And render it in its own way.
Seriously, look at the feed source, every item has the full source code, with attributes and structure, that the HTML was rendered from.
3. I can innovate out here on the open web. But if this post were in a silo, only the silo-maker could innovate. So things creak along slowly in SiloLand. Limits tend to stay limits, for years, years become decades, and we all grow old, and then a new generation comes along, and says why the fuck does it work this way, and they make something new. Where? Well, it'll have to be on the open web. Because new stuff can't happen in a silo.
4. Ultimately that's how change happens in tech. People get all comfy and bored in their little nests, and then boom, everyone goes somewhere else. If it's yet another boring and nesty silo, only a few people will go there. But if it's open, eventually, everyone is there. (Yes, some people still use typewriters, no doubt. They don't count.)
So my friend Tom, as wise as he sounds, is wrong. If it's open it's everything. It's winning because it's always winning. It's an illusion to think it's all wrapped up in tech. Every generation thinks it is, until the next one comes along and renders all its assumptions moot.