I don’t have a great reason for not having a Facebook account, for deleting mine, as I did, a couple of months ago. But I’m okay with that. I’m not particularly interested in convincing other people to follow my lead, at least not right now.
But I do think Facebook is rather bad.
Here’s some nice anti-Facebook propaganda.
(I haven’t read Jaron Lanier’s book yet.)
If I was going to join Facebook again, to take advantage of some of its merits while carefully moderating my usage somehow to avoid the known harms, perhaps I should promote more anti-FB messages, like those above. And perhaps write some of my own…
Would that be particularly useful? Questionable. When better systems arise or are rediscovered, smart people will just leave FB and just use the better stuff, right? Eventually. Facebook might fix itself in the meantime.
Facebook’s attractive features, as an ex-user: mainly its event system. Invitations, confirmations, calendar items. The tie to real-world identities.
I don’t need another chat system, so I’d avoid Messenger. I only just learned about the ‘see first’ feature, for making the newsfeed more useful. I’d make minimal use of the newsfeed, because that’s a bottomless pit, controlled by an engagement-maximising algorithm.
I don’t want my engagement maximised.
Better Facebook replacements
What’s the state of the art? Urbit? Holochain? Those are the alternative decentralised network toolkits that interested me for a while. I should look at them again.
What I’m doing here, under the Operating Space name, is building a space to publish my technology writing. It’s a WordPress blog now, nothing fancy. The next steps for its evolution are: an advanced category system that presents multiple hierchical taxonomies. WordPress plugins will be the basis, to start with. No fancy tech needed, I believe.
I’ll load in my tech-related Pinboard bookmarks that I’ve collected over the years, so I can start with some real live content. Two taxonomies I’ll start with are John Lange’s Challenges of the future (loosely transhumanism-related stuff) and the six layers of The Stack by Benjamin H. Bratton. I’ll also need some sensible scheme that includes space stuff, because of course I’m going to post about space science on a blog named Operating Space.
What about an AI-curated newsfeed? I think a simpler solution will suffice. RSS with basic filtering.
I think the multi-category thing will be generally useful, for various blogs and sites. So a WordPress plugin is a fine choice, for purposes of maximising reach. I’ll deploy it on at least two other sites, which will operate as microblogs. One for ‘life’ stuff, like Facebook. One for game screenshots and art. And I need a miscellaneous one, for everything else, perhaps? Maybe that’ll be the master database from which every other source draws.