Posts Tagged ‘ openet

Exit Planet Face [openet001]

Today is the 4th July, most famously known as “Independence Day” in the U.S of A. It would have been apt therefore today that I claim my independence from a new American multinational “service” known as Facebook. After some thought I have decided to postpone my exit…. a least for a couple of weeks.

Giving up Facebook is not an easy decision to make. At present I do have a use for it, for communicating with people about one or two of the projects I am working on. I don’t need to communicate with them though on this particular platform, but as it is the place where people spend a large chunk of their online time, then it is the easiest way to communicate with them. Note I say “easiest”, as it is far from the best. We are at a crossroads when it comes to looking at the internet landscape. It’s commercialisation is in full swing and technologies for our convenience get better and better each day. But at what price? Privacy, human rights, and creativity all have something to lose.

Who reads the Terms & Conditions anymore? Are they so long as to maybe make sure we skip them and sign up? Would you eat a meal in a restaurant if you were presented with a ninety page document to sign before you ordered? Ok I’m on a bit of a tangent with that but that’s food for thought surely?

My reasons for exiting Facebook are twofold, the first being a need to remove distractions from my life so I can concentrate on my own work and do a bit less of consuming and sharing that of others. The second and for me most important is that I am an advocate for net neutrality and for a fair and open internet and much of what I see nowadays with Facebook, Apple and Google is contrary to this.

There is much talk bandied around about openness and collaboration in the last few years and I see it as being largely a ruse. This is just a ploy to get you sucked in, it will cost you something, you just don’t know it yet. It really annoys me when I hear someone sully these good words with some sales pitch drivel.

The internet was and is social, these new networks are just an expansion, an evolution if you like of the many to many protocol the internet is based on, peer to peer.

My own work has been for a long time focused on the genuine collaborative and open uses of the internet. Therefore I welcome new approaches that can change things for the better. The Diaspora project is very promising as are other open source approaches to social-networking like Elgg.

[to be continued…]