On Giving a Shit

Joe Hewitt, possibly in response to Dave Winer’s and my objections to Facebook today:

Seriously guys, nobody gives a shit about the open web. Only your clique.

A few thoughts:

  • Most people don’t care about “the open web” at the technical or political (and in my personal case, business) level that Dave Winer and I do. Most people, I’m sure, couldn’t even offer a cogent definition of what “the open web” means. Nor should they have to. They just know they can open a web browser, search for things, visit their favorite sites, and click links from one site to another. But I’ll tell you what: I bet most people think it sucks that stuff posted publicly to Facebook — like Marc Haynes’s lovely story about Roger Moore — can’t be searched by Google. And I bet they’d be pissed if they knew that it wasn’t a technical issue on Google’s side but simply a deliberate strategic decision by Facebook. People may not know what the open web is but they like it.

  • What a sad way to go through life, discouraging people from fighting for what they know to be both right and good for the world, simply because most people may not understand. “Just give up” seems to be Hewitt’s advice.

  • Joe Hewitt in 2009:

    The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.

Thursday, 1 June 2017