"The things that will last on the internet are not owned."


My blog isn't part of a system where its usefulness is just a hook to get me to use it.

My blog's older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It's seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it'll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.

The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.

Previously, previously, previously.

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15 Responses:

  1. this is why I wish there were a non-proprietary social media or social network protocol along these lines.

  2. Jordan: There is, it's called "have a blog and use email".

    • LafinJack says:

      You can't kill email! It's the cockroach of the Internet, and I mean that as a compliment.

      From the Metafilter discussion on the same:

      The key feature of email -- at least modern Internet email -- to me is that it is "unowned." That is, it exists only as a collective hallucination, brought about by protocols that anyone can implement by building a mail server that talks to all the other mail servers. There is no CEO of email, no board, no main menu, no toll-free number to call for customer service. And that's made it admirably difficult to control for purposes like political censorship -- while also vulnerable to phenomena like spam. Other unowned technologies include the Internet itself, the Web, IRC, and nntp newsgroups.

      Compare that to the more recent "owned" technologies that substitute for email functionality: Twitter DMs, Facebook messaging, Whatsapp. These do have CEOs, and acceptable use policies, and are able to act more readily and comprehensively against spamming -- but also able to control the platform once it gets popular, whether for the companies' own purposes or at the behest of governments.

      And that's what makes me hope email -- and the Web -- keep surviving, and evolving, against their increasingly powerful and popular owned counterparts.

  3. I do those things but they don't function in the same way.

  4. whatever says:

    DNS is bought, sold, and wholly owned and will persist. Some things are just more important and well made than others.

    • Mjog says:

      Actually no, domain names are licenced to you for a fixed amount of time and solely at the discretion of the registrar (and in the end ICANN and the WIPO). They can be revoked at any time. Go find a spare /24 and quietly sit on that, it'll last longer.

    • db48x says:

      DNS is an odd case. The protocol itself is unowned, but enforces a centralized hierarchy. Because it's unowned, anybody can set up their own hierarchy. DNS will thus live forever in one form or another.

      Because of the network effects, however, switching hierarchies can be quite painful; most people want their site to be visible to everyone. On the other hand those same network effects are all that prevent Facebook (or for an earlier example, recall AOL Keywords which actually competed against DNS and lost) from setting up their own entirely-separate naming system which could never outlive them.

  5. Mark Welch says:

    Private federated social media still seems clunky, but work continues. Until then: blogs, email, IRC, and RSS.

  6. Jordan Kraemer- if we all had blogs and RSS readers, arguably it could get pretty close. But we won't get all of our friends to independently build and maintain blogs, so here we sit.

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