The Web has Many Definitions

created Jun 29, 2019

The aspects of the web that appeal and displease me might mean the opposite to someone else. That's okay.

I am at an airport, and I just saw a booth where I could access the web for free if I had the right card, or for a certain amount of euros per time unit.

In another era, there were publishers, who put information on paper. These papers could then be brought by those who were interested in the information. It was a publishers world. The story has been told many times: the internet changed that, information became free, anyone could publish. But the web has evolved once more.

Why would I not want to use a computer in that booth even if it were free? Because I have no idea what to do on the web. Do I go to some news sites? Do I look up the time of my flight again? It would only be to kill time.

Is killing time the main activity conducted on the social media silos? Why do many automobile drivers operate their vehicles with their heads looking up and down between the road and their phones? What's so important that people cannot wait until they are out of their automobiles?

Why do people stare at their phones when seated in restaurants or waiting in lines or anytime that they have free time to kill?

Why do people wander around holding onto the phones? Smart phone usage may be mostly about killing time.

The author continues.

Most of the public [web] information is boring, the real fun is on Twitter, Facebook or maybe even my e-mail, where the information is tailored to my tastes.

Most? In my 25-plus years of using the web, I have never thought that most of the public web information was boring. If we have web time to kill, then we should explore the web. Be curious. Search for new personal websites. Discovering new personals websites is part of the fun of using the open web.

I don't have a Facebook account, and I do not use Twitter. I agree with the author's point about email. I subscribe to some email newsletters, but email is not the web. Email and the web consist of two different application layer protocols that use the internet.

If I want information tailored to my tastes, then I use a feed reader, such as my own simple feed reading app, or I use the web-based feed reader app called The Old Reader.

Another way to read info that interests me is by accessing the saved websites, listed on my bookmarks/favorites page.

And yet another method of accessing fascinating info is by reading or re-reading the saved links that I maintain on quarterly or biannual pages.

Past "articles to read" pages of saved links:

I spend too much time visiting Hacker News when I have time to kill, but a few days each week, I find fascinating technical and non-technical discussions at HN. I learn from the HN comments and from the posts that the HN threads link to. A lot of people are willing to share their knowledge.

Describing the open web as boring is almost like describing the world as boring.

Obviously, the author and I have different tastes, regarding the web, which is wonderful. Sameness would be a terrible existence. I subscribe to the theory that every human being is unique.

The author continues.

... there’s more fun on those silo’s, or at least: there is more of that promised content, published by anyone, everyone, especially your friends.

I don't know what "promised content" means, and I cannot imagine how using the silos is more fun than using the world wide open web. I'm thankful that the social media silos mean nothing to me.

From the author:

And the best way of viewing [the silos], is by authenticating myself as me. Luckily this is not a problem: I have a device in my pocket that is connected and authenticated 24/7. Compared to that, the web is a dull place, with unpersonal information.

This is the first time that I have observed someone claim that the web is a dull place. The web has the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it's not dull.

I'm unsure what the author means by "unpersonal information." In my opinion, the silo services that provide narcissistic counters encourage people to create content that tries to impress others, instead of creating content to satisfy themselves. This is why I consider the "like" feature to be one of the worst designed functions for the web.

I like this quote.

"Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

The social media silos could be encouraging a lack of creativity, individuality, and originality. Look at the sameness in how the silos pages look for all users and groups. No individual control exists, regarding how their silo presences look and function. I cannot submit myself to that type of enslavement.

Many IndieWeb users use the social media silos in addition to their personal websites. The silos come second, of course, to their personal websites. They use the silos for engagement. When I want "engagement", I use email, text messaging, phone calls, and meeting in the real world.

For public web discussions, the IndieWeb's Webmention protocol would be about the only acceptable mechanism for me to use.

Is the time of publishing on your own site over? I hope not.

I don't understand the basis for asking that question. It's almost like this post is a continuation from a previous post that I have not read. Context is missing because I'm confused.

In my opinion, people maintain personal websites because it's an enjoyable experience. Once it becomes a chore, then people will stop using their own websites.

In the United States, it's probably safe to say that more people with internet access post to silos than post to their own personal websites. Most U.S. citizens probably do not maintain personal websites.

But even if personal web publishing represents only a tiny percentage of all web activity over the entire globe, then the number of personal websites that might interest me will always be greater than the time that I have to read those sites.

I have experienced artists who stopped posting on their personal websites because they wanted to focus on using Instagram and other silos. That's an understandable but unfortunate choice. I follow with my own choice of no longer being a fan of those artists because I always find more artists who continue to maintain personal websites in addition to everything else.

The pool of people who maintain personal websites will not run dry in my lifetime.

The author permits others to log into his website by using IndieAuth or Twitter. Some of his content is hidden away from non-logged in users, which is an interesting way to manage personal content. That's a new experience to me. It's not something that I would offer.

But that's okay because it's his website. This is why people should maintain their own personal websites because website authors can choose to manage their websites in any manner desired. Personal website owners answer to nobody, regarding the content and functionality of their websites.

The author wraps up with:

But there is more web in this approach than we have in social media. And that is nice. I like more web. The web is exciting.

I thought that the web was dull and boring.

Let’s not let [the web] stay boring with only public, general information.

The public web is not boring. I managed a small, local message board for over 16 years, called, and I never considered the experience boring. If I had, then I would have closed down the site after a few months or after a few years.

I wish that the author would have given examples of what he labels the boring, public, general information web.

Let’s share the personal here too.

People have been sharing personal info on their personal public websites for more than 20 years. I recommend people read the 2002 book, titled The Weblog Handbook, written by Rebecca Blood.

More from the author:

And let’s create a way to do that in a more private way, where you control who sees your posts. See you on the IndieWeb!

For me, if I don't want info to be public, then I don't post it to my website. I like to keep my web presences simple. I might store private info in small, paper notebooks.

I only have one web post type: the web post.

IndieWeb advocates categorize web posts into more than a dozen types, including articles, notes, check-ins, RSVPs, photos, shares, likes, replies, etc.

I create and update every post the same way. The end result is HTML text. Therefore only one post type exists for me: the web post.

The author promotes an interesting concept. I'll be curious to see if other IndieWeb users implement something similar. An idea can fascinate me even if the idea disinterests me at the current time. Maybe in the future, I will change my mind.