Pluralistic: The (open) web is good, actually (13 Nov 2023)

Today’s links The (open) web is good, actually: Recall has always been a power dynamic. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2022 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading The (open) web is good, actually (permalink) The great irony of the platformization of the internet is that platforms are intermediaries, and the original promise of the internet that got so many of us excited about it was disintermediation – getting rid of the middlemen that act as gatekeepers between community members, creators and audiences, buyers and sellers, etc. The platformized internet is ripe for rent seeking: where the platform captures an ever-larger share of the value generated by its users, making the service worst for both, while lock-in stops people from looking elsewhere. Every sector of the modern economy is less competitive, thanks to monopolistic tactics like mergers and acquisitions and predatory pricing. But with tech, the options for making things worse are infinitely divisible, thanks to the flexibility of digital systems, which means that product managers can keep subdividing the Jenga blocks they pulling out of the services we rely on. Combine platforms with monopolies with digital flexibility and you get enshittification: An enshittified, platformized internet is bad for lots of reasons – it concentrates decisions about who may speak and what may be said into just a few hands; it creates a rich-get-richer dynamic that creates a new oligarchy, with all the corruption and instability…Pluralistic: The (open) web is good, actually (13 Nov 2023)

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