dolphin

The sad truth is that the overwhelming majority of people, including highly technical capable people, don’t want peer-to-peer protocols. They don’t want to own their own data. They just want ease. Convenience. Someone else to take over and take care of their data problems. They want the Stacks.

via The Internet: We’re Doing It Wrong | TechCrunch.

I killed my Facebook page once upon a time in 2010 after some (now seemingly innocuous) privacy change I can’t remember.

That killing didn’t last long and I resurrected my page soon after and brought my Facebook existence back to life. However, I’m done. Facebook is over for me and I’m not looking back.

If you want to catch up with me, I’ll be here from now on. Please visit often.

I have a blog. It’s my main point of online existence. I love my blog. It’s fantastic (I think). It is paid for by me, controlled by me and points to things like my Twitter stream (I still love Twitter), my pictures, music I’m listenting to and thoughts I consider worthwhile to publish. If people want to hear those thoughts, they can visit my blog or subscribe to my blog via RSS.

I rarely check into Facebook. I do so about once a day. I flip through a dozen or so posts then move on. I understand that Facebook is the lifeblood of “the internet” for many people. However, I hope those “many” people realize the power of a web that isn’t controlled by one hub or one destination.

I’d much rather engage with people who take the time to set up and curate their own blogs, their own spaces on the web. Whether they pay for that or use a free blogging service, those are quality decisions that push the world to better.

Quite simply, I don’t want to encourage a web that relies on the spine of Facebook while my daughters are young. I want them to have a federated and distributed web like I did as a kid. That might not mean much to you, but consider what that means in the post-PRISM world and think about the ramifications.

What if we all started posting pictures and thoughts and ideas on our own blogs or name spaces instead of Facebook? What if the web didn’t have a walled garden as the social hub but instead relied on people actively subscribing to each other?

That is beautiful. That is where I want to belong.

As a marketing professional, I understand (trust me) the need to be on Facebook, but the need to be on Facebook is outweighed by the benefits of being elsewhere. Particularly on your own blog and in your own social spaces that you’ve created.

So, I’m killing my Facebook account. “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us…” and the world will be federated as one.

Go start your own blog and send me a link and I’ll subscribe in my RSS reader. We deserve better.

Let’s do this.

About the Author Sam Harrelson

Digital Marketing and Technology Consultant and Podcaster at Thinking.FM

5 comments

  1. Sam, I’ve been having very similar thoughts on this topic. I’ve started using http://bmoore.me as my origination point for posts, RSS reading (via Tiny Tiny RSS), curating an archive of interesting stories, and my personal cloud (via OwnCloud). I’ll soon be setting up email service there, too.

    The old FB habit and ecosystem comforts are hard to break, though. My personal blog lacks the tagging/notification/location features that make network so natively social. If I visit a coffee shop with a friend, for example, they’re not notified when I create a simple link on my blog like they are when I tag them on Facebook.

    My hope is that we can find ways to make personal cloud and blogging systems more inherently social. First, we’ll own our data, like you mention. Second, we will build a more sustainable online ecosystem that won’t fail when a single platform fails, so we won’t have to keep reinventing the wheel when services like Facebook go the way of MySpace.

    Like

    1. Exactly, Brandon. Great points about having multi-points of failure.

      I think we were really close to getting to the pinging/notification system for updates in ’07ish at the height of Twitter’s open API, tracking and protocols like pubsubhubbub. Much of that excitement died down with the expansion of Facebook etc but I think (hope) more and more folks (especially young folks) are going to start investigating how to get us out of the walled gardens. At least the ones who want a better web.

      I’m using Fever installed on my server mainly because it integrates with Press on Android but I’ve been tinkering with TinyTinyReader. It’s a great idea for sure.

      I’ve been using my host for my mail but looking into turning this Ubuntu machine into a mail server (already serving well as a media server with Plex).

      I keep meaning to install OwnCloud. Downloading now. Thanks for the reminder!

      Subscribed to your blog. Keep it up!

      Like

  2. Sam, I’ve been having very similar thoughts on this topic. I’ve started using http://bmoore.me as my origination point for posts, RSS reading (via Tiny Tiny RSS), curating an archive of interesting stories, and my personal cloud (via OwnCloud). I’ll soon be setting up email service there, too.

    The old FB habit and ecosystem comforts are hard to break, though. My personal blog lacks the tagging/notification/location features that make network so natively social. If I visit a coffee shop with a friend, for example, they’re not notified when I create a simple link on my blog like they are when I tag them on Facebook.

    My hope is that we can find ways to make personal cloud and blogging systems more inherently social. First, we’ll own our data, like you mention. Second, we will build a more sustainable online ecosystem that won’t fail when a single platform fails, so we won’t have to keep reinventing the wheel when services like Facebook go the way of MySpace.

    Like

    1. Exactly, Brandon. Great points about having multi-points of failure.

      I think we were really close to getting to the pinging/notification system for updates in ’07ish at the height of Twitter’s open API, tracking and protocols like pubsubhubbub. Much of that excitement died down with the expansion of Facebook etc but I think (hope) more and more folks (especially young folks) are going to start investigating how to get us out of the walled gardens. At least the ones who want a better web.

      I’m using Fever installed on my server mainly because it integrates with Press on Android but I’ve been tinkering with TinyTinyReader. It’s a great idea for sure.

      I’ve been using my host for my mail but looking into turning this Ubuntu machine into a mail server (already serving well as a media server with Plex).

      I keep meaning to install OwnCloud. Downloading now. Thanks for the reminder!

      Subscribed to your blog. Keep it up!

      Like

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