🔖 The Shape Of The Machine (archive) by Mike Hoye
Google’s monitor and monetize system can be broken down into three parts. In isolation these parts seem to be well-intentioned.
- Performance: AMP will speed up your web pages
- Search: Faster loading pages are better search results
- Advertising: Ad revenue keeps websites alive.
Put them all together and it becomes a thinly veiled extortion scheme. And unlike Microsoft and Facebook, Google still pretends that it is doing good work with good intentions.
🔖 How the Blog Broke the Web (archive)
Web homepages used to be weird hand-made things until blogging and content-management systems like Movable Type came into the picture in 2001. People switched to these systems because they were easier to use, but it meant that everyone got reverse-chronological diaries whether they liked it or not. This trend has continued with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc.
A reverse chronological feed is not the only way that hypertext can be molded, but the early systems have put the web on this trajectory. Other shapes of hypertext like wikis or forums have not remained as popular and don’t have many tools around them either. Even newer shapes of hypertext could still be discovered.
It’s much easier to load my thoughts into someone else’s little box and hit “Submit” (perhaps the most well-chosen interface word of all time). But submission comes at a price. My personal information, my finances, my family connections, my ideas—all are now in the hands of those to whom I have submitted.
From Reboot the World by Paul Ford