Social web news in May

Social web news in May

The month kicked off with a wonderful piece by Molly White

This is the world of today's web. Most of us spend our days within the confines of a handful of platforms, wandering around to admire what people have done with the seeds they are allowed in the space they are allotted, with platform owners directing us to the gardens they think we might like — or, more often, the ones they think will keep us within their walls for longer...
But we often forget: that world is still out there...we have tools in our arsenal: the memories of once was, and the creativity of far more people than ever before, who entered the digital expanse but have grown disillusioned with the business moguls controlling life within the walls.
We can have a different web, if we want it.
We can have a different web
Many yearn for the “good old days” of the web. We could have those good old days back — or something even better — and if anything, it would be easier now than it ever was.

Mike Masnick turned the Google AI controversy into a powerful call to take back control of the web

For some people, their online worlds exist either in social media or in search as the mediating forces in their lives.
...The various decentralized social media systems that have been growing over the past few years offer a very different potential approach: one in which you get to build the experience you want, rather than the one a giant company wants...It’s a much more social experience, mediated by other people, perhaps on different systems, rather than a single giant company determining what you get to see.
The promise of the internet, and the World Wide Web in particular, was that anyone could build their own world there, connected with others. It was a world that wasn’t supposed to be in any kind of walled garden...But in giving those companies so much control, we’ve lost some of that promise of the open web.
And now we can take it back.
No one’s saying to give up using Google, because it’s necessary for many. But start to think about where you spend your time online, and who is looking to lock you in vs. who is giving you more freedom to have the world that works best for you.
Bluesky Is Building The Decentralized Social Media Jack Dorsey Wants, Even If He Doesn’t Realize It
There was a bit of news in the world of decentralized social media over the past few weeks. It kicked off with the announcement that Jack Dorsey had left the board of Bluesky. This was followed by …

Digiday reported on The Verge and 404 Media builiding connections to social web

At least two digital media companies are exploring the fediverse as a way to take more control over their referral traffic and onsite audience engagement. This comes at a time when walled gardens like Facebook and X are becoming less reliable for driving readers to publishers’ sites. 
The Verge and 404 Media are building out new functions that would allow them to distribute posts on their sites and on federated platforms – like Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky – at the same time. Replies to those posts on those platforms become comments on their sites.
Why publishers are preparing to federate their sites
The Verge and 404 Media are exploring the fediverse as a way to take more control over their referral traffic and onsite audience engagement.

Ben Werdmuller, Senior Director of Technology at ProPublica, took a hard look at the challenges and opportunities facing newsrooms

The internet is changing more rapidly than it has in years, creating headwinds for newsrooms and jeopardizing independent journalism’s viability. We need those organizations to exist: they reduce corruptioninform the voting public, and allow us to connect with and understand our communities in vital ways.
These organizations must own their digital presence outright to shield themselves from risks created by third parties that wield outsized supplier power over their business models. They must build direct relationships with their communities, prioritizing open protocols over proprietary systems. They need to invest in technology expertise that can help them weather these changes and make that expertise a first-class part of their senior leadership teams.
Dispatches from the media apocalypse
In saving news, culture is key.

We ended up the month with PJ Vogt interviewing Casey Newton and coining the strapline for this blog

A secret new internet you may not have heard of, a paradise to which we may all yet escape.

As Evan Prodromou, one of the co-creators of the Fediverse, says:

"We have to finish building the Fediverse." Hell yeah.