I really liked the Amber Case talk at Realtime Conf 2013. She made me think about the ownership of my data but not in the legal way, but more about the good feeling it brings to know that we own and control our content.
Some points worth considering:
- Our content is at mercy of company acquisitions.
- Complex setups (blog systems, databases) make it harder to preserve the contents. Simplicity (simple html files, markdown, etc) are actually more meaningful and don’t require anything to communicate the content.
- In the beggining of internet most people were creators, now almost everybody just consumes content.
- Because most people are just consumers, the web has shaped to a distraction artifact instead of something that promotes creation.
Where is the fun?
As she mentions, i remember having a lot of fun building things in the beggining of internet, it was awesome to make something in microsoft frontpage / notepad/ whatever. I’m guilty of the rotating skull gifs thing but there was a sense of discovery and satisfaction, i don’t know why it is not present anymore.
Maybe it’s because at the time nobody had expectations of how things had to look, so creators had freedom to do whatever they felt it was great, almost everybody i knew through IRC had some kind of random website, irc bot and basic design skills. But now, it feels more like TV, so passive, the rate of creators/consumers may be something like 1/100.
Ownership of data promotes creation.
I realized that when people have some kind of space that allows them to create content and present it the way they want , it just promotes the creative spark. I feel sad when i see a teenager spending lots of time trying to adapt facebook, changing cover pictures frequently, and posting links to express himself. It’s sad because all the creative energy is there but Facebook is so bad for creation that the person ends up limiting himself. Maybe if he had some blog to maintain, change colors, change the html, upload his pictures to his server and fiddling with some technical details he would really feel ownership of his content.
Here is the talk: