Replied to Return to the Open Web! vs Join the Open Web! by Ton Zijlstra
Dries Buytaert, the originator of the Drupal CMS, is pulling the plug on Facebook. Having made the same observations I did, that reducing FB engagement leads to more blogging. A year ago he set out to reclaim his blog as a thinking-out-loud space, and now a year on quits FB. I’ve seen this in a wi...

Repopulating the feed reader? Never left it. Returning to the open web? Never left it? Dumping Facebook? Not gonna happen.

It makes me wonder how we can bring others along with us.

I don’t think they want to (or care) come along? I shop at the mall because the flea market is a smelly noisy mess and the quality of the products/services are poor. Caveat emptor. I expect that’s why walled gardens (or should that be malled gardens) do so well.

The first walled garden, AOL, got my wife and her family on the Internet. It was easy for them to use and understand. They’ve never blogged and have never wanted to. They want to go to that place “where everybody knows your name”.

Why are many people (it’s starting to sound like an echo chamber) thinking about “saving” people? I see articles that remind me of those evangelical Christians who would bark out to me as I walked across the step of the Georgia Tech Campus. “Unless you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you can not be saved”. It didn’t matter if I was happy doing what I was doing. I needed to be saved from myself.

It’s as though the default assumption is “those people must be having a bad experience”, let me save them. Let’s write a piece about how much I hate Facebook. Make sure to mention some person few care about who has recently deleted their account. Let’s all nod our heads in agreement. Let’s ignore the fact that far more people are enjoying Facebook/Twitter and find utility in it.

When was the last time you helped someone get started on the open web?

Shall I force it on them? Shall I be the arrogant tech geek who looks upon them with pity that they are not enlightened? Shall I show them Mastodon and when they say, “but … none of my friends are here and the user experience sucks”, tell them, “it’ll get better. just make new friends among all these random people you’ve never met?”

Or … I can say, “Hye, I’m doing this cool thing that I feel gives me the freedom to express myself. I fully own it and the content on it. Would you like to join me?”.

As my wife likes to say when someone makes a face and comments negatively her favourite foods, “stop yucking my yum”.

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