Indie Microblogging by Manton Reece


“You choose the web you want.” — Brent Simmons

Bare with me for a paragraph as I summarize a scene toward the end of the third Harry Potter movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry and Hermione are down by the lake watching the Dementors suck the life out of Sirius and the other Harry Potter. Harry doesn’t do anything, because he thinks his dad will come to save them. He doesn’t act at first, because he thinks someone else will solve the problem they’re in.

Hermione cuts through the uncertainty, saying:

Harry, listen to me. No one’s coming.

We sometimes write code as if another developer will come in and clean it up later — improving it, removing the careless bits, the shortcuts. All we need to do is get the basics running as quickly as possible. Someone else will come in and refactor it later.

But the truth is, no one is coming. If it’s going to be done right, we need to do it. Now, not later.

So it is with social media. The big social media companies are never going to make changes that would risk undermining their dominance. Government is not going to step in and have all the answers. If there’s a fix, it’s up to us.

Next: Breaking up Facebook →