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Thursday, 16 March 2017 21:29
momijizukamori: Yuna from Final Fantasy X, dancing a sending. The text reads in script 'dreamer' (Yuna | Dreamer)
One thing I've been thinking about a lot the last few weeks, both because of the election and because of the number of tech podcasts I'm listening to and the various long-form pieces on the ethical and privacy implications of technology, is the importance of supporting platforms that are built by the community, for the community. Every month or so I see posts on my tumblr dash going 'why can't tumblr be more introspective and accepting of long-form pieces like LJ used to be' and frankly there is a pretty clear answer: Tumblr's business model revolves around getting you hooked on the dopamine rush of likes and reblogs, which is not a goal well-served by slow, thoughtful introspection. Basically all the other major social media sites - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - are the same way. They're popular because they're sticky, and their sticky because they were designed to be sticky, without a lot of attention paid to the kinds of interactions being fostered or the long-term effects on our attention-span or the way we relate to others. Which is why I spend the bare minimum of time on FB to keep up with my social groups I can't connect with anywhere else but there (or Twitter, but Twitter is everything I don't like about Tumblr turned to 11).

And the reason for this can be basically summed up as 1) advertising and 2) Wall Street. Denise has a huge essay on why advertising is a bad business model for social media and there is almost certainly a well-thought-out piece on why catering to the short-term gains for investors rather than long-term gains for end-users is a bad idea, but I don't feel like trying to find something - hopefully it's not a theory I have to really convince a lot of you on. At this point Facebook and podcasts are the only times I regularly experience advertising, because I don't watch broadcast television, and run ad-block software basically constantly, so the rare experiences I do have ads just highlight how fucking obnoxious they are, and the more I have to see and hear ads for MeUndies the more I never want to give them my money.

So in this sort world, a place like Dreamwidth becomes more and more important, and I'm going to try and do what I can to support it.

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