The State of the Internet is Awful, and Everybody Knows It


The internet won, and despite killing off thousands of jobs in the print industry, it created many more than expected in an ever-multiplying array of new web ventures. But now that it won, it’s increasingly unclear that was a good thing. A lot of people who work in internet media secretly—or in many cases, not-so-secretly—hate it, and some even suspect they are actively making the world a dumber place, as they very well may be. “ [link]

The strangest thing about Rose’s piece is that there isn’t a single sentence that discusses the economics of the journalism business outside of the paragraph describing money that has recently been invested into it. But what kind of money is coming out of it? A true golden age of journalism, if it is to last more than a few ephemeral years subsidized by check-writing billionaires and venture-capital speculation, will require that publishers make a profit and writers and reporters can make a decent living. But I’m not hearing from a whole lot of happy writers. If you are lucky, you might be able to command a freelance pay rate that hasn’t budged in 30 years. But more people than ever work for nothing.

Dave Winer, one of the godfathers of blogging, is working on a tool to sync Facebook with other blogging platforms.

He writes that he’s taken some flak for this. Facebook? The privacy-crushing, soul-sucking digital overlord Facebook?

Yet here were are, on Facebook.

Winer writes, I think, a sensible and heartfelt explanation: Blogging is fading, Facebook is winning.

Also, although cross-posting to Facebook from blogging platforms such as Wordpress and Tumblr is already common and easy, his project aims for something that isn’t: two-way sync. So if you make a change to a post on Facebook, the change is saved to your external blog as well.

Although that may not bring about a resurgence in blogging, it sounds like a useful feature for those of us who still bother. I also feel the yin-yang pull of Facebook. It’s where people are. But I’d still like my own space and an archive of my posts. I’m not ready to live entirely in a Facebook world, but like Winer I value the connections it offers. I’ve also written before about one other thing I like about Facebook: it works. That seems obvious, but for me it isn’t trivial.