I still want to bring blogging to Facebook
by Dave Winer Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I tried once again to get Facebook to add styling, links, titles and podcasts to timeline posts, and once again they said no.

I told my friend inside Facebook this reminds me of the time Apple wouldn't give us working sample code for AppleTalk apps. So we had to wait until the web before we could write easy reliable networked apps. It was a shame because we wasted a good part of a decade waiting for the web. Years we could have put into making great software that networked. And we wouldn't have given up the graphic user interface advances that Apple had made. While I loved the web for its easy networking, I understood that it was a major major step backward in user interface. We're still trying to make up for the selfish mistake Apple made almost thirty years ago. That's how costly these closed-architecture outages can be.

That wasn't the first or last time a major tech company shut the door for a type of application that was waiting to be born. Now Facebook has gotten in bed with the big pubs, with their crazy business models, that get us people like DJ Trump as a candidate for President. 

I want to bring blogging to Facebook. I think it's the only way we can get back on track, by giving the sources great tools to communicate with people who are thirsty for ideas and information. But we can't do it without linking, styles, titles and links to rich media, accessible through an RSS-like API. We can't boot up a culture of free thinking inside a silo without these basic features of the web. We need to be able to get our ideas into this space so they can engage with the people here and connect with ideas, people and software that live outside of Facebook.

Facebook has these features internally, for their own use. They just have to turn them on for users. It's eerily similar to the way Apple approached the power of networking in the 80s. Keep the power for themselves, only accessible to people they hire, subject to their management structure. I guess it never occurred to them to give it to users and developers? Or they're scared of what they might do with it? It's really hard to parse. 

Until this is fixed we will have to wait for the equivalent of the web to show up and route around Facebook's outage. I have no doubt that day will come, and when it does it will give me no satisfaction, because as with Apple we're wasting years, and we really don't have that kind of time to waste.