Archive:
Social media

Designers, it’s time to move slowly and fix things

Another reflection on how the culture of tech and design probably needs to change, this time from Basecamp product designer Jonas Downey.

Designers and programmers are great at inventing software… Unfortunately we’re not nearly as obsessed with what happens after that, when people integrate our products into the real world. They use our stuff and it takes on a life of its own. Then we move on to making the next thing. We’re builders, not sociologists.

Wealth inequality is even worse in reputation economies

Cory Doctorow on how reputation economies (like the rating system satirised in the Black Mirror episode Nosedive) have a series of undesirable effects.

…reputation is useless as a hedge against the real nightmare of a setup like Ebay: the long con. It doesn’t cost much, nor does it take much work, to build up sleeper identities on Ebay, fake storefronts that sell un­remarkable goods at reasonable prices, earning A+++ GREAT SELLER tickmarks, even for years, until one day, that account lists a bunch of high-value items on the service, pockets the buyers’ funds, and walks off.

Reputation works badly and fails badly – it’s a lose-lose situation all around.

RSS: there’s nothing better

This article summarises why social media services like Facebook and Twitter are a totally inadequate way of receiving updates from blogs and other websites. We had the perfect system all along: RSS.

Yes, the technology is dated, but it remains the best at what it does and isn’t closed source or tied to some Silicon Valley company. It still works, is widely supported and does what it does better than any alternative that’s come out since. Sometimes, newer isn’t better. Sometimes the problem has already been solved. No blog or news website should be too new or too minimal to support RSS.

Fashion, Maslow and Facebook’s control of social — Benedict Evans

An interesting look at the parallels between the fashion industry and modern day digital trendsetters.

The fashion industry does not set fashion – it proposes them. It tries to work out the mood and the zeitgeist and looks for ideas that might express that. The same, increasingly, for Facebook – it cannot really decide how people use its products or what they see, only propose. 

Spooky Dunc

Everyone on Twitter is changing their names to be Halloween themed. This is the best I can come up with.

One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end — Mike Monteiro

Ten years ago, a group of white dudes baked the DNA of the platform without thought to harassment or abuse. They built the platform with the best of intentions. I still believe this. But they were ignorant to their own blind spots. As we all are. This is the value of diverse teams by the way. When you’re building a tool with a global reach (and who isn’t these days) your team needs to look like the world it’s trying to reach. And ten years later, the abuse has proven too much to fix.

Computer keyboard and mouse

Why it’s time to reclaim our digital lives

The more we come to understand about the big social media networks’ impact on society, the less appealing it becomes. It’s time we stopped letting them control our digital lives. This is why I will start blogging again.

Fail whale

Ten years of twitting about

In ten years, Twitter has transformed from a geek enclave to a mainstream form of communication. But I find it difficult to imagine signing up to Twitter today.

LinkedIn headquarters

Is it time to put LinkedIn in the bin?

Microsoft recently announced that it will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. But do any of LinkedIn’s users actually derive value from it?

Google+ logo

Why I enjoy using Google+

It seems as if Google+ is still the butt of all jokes. But recently I have begun to use Google+ more, and I am enjoying it.