Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

A solution for social media?

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/3a3
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Sometimes I find it quite interesting to read through articles that I wrote three or four years ago, back then still on the platform Medium. Some time ago I deleted them on Medium and published them on my blog in a “Medium Archive”.

What’s interesting is how I saw some things back then. Writing was a bit of an outlet for me in a rather difficult time. I thought a lot about life, about myself, but also about the world in general.

One thing that I still think about this way today is social media:

The companies behind the social networks are no longer interested (although they still promise) in improving the world and bringing people closer together. They’re all about money. The billions of dollars that can be earned with ads that are personalized for each user on the basis of their analyzed behavior. It’s about keeping users on their website or app for longer to show more ads and earn more money.

My solution idea was as follows:

What we need to rescue social media is a network without advertising. Without bragging. And without the like addiction of some users. Preferably a network, where you pay a small amount of money monthly and are not annoyed with advertisements, Trump-tweets or BuzzFeed-links, where it’s all about your friends. About the Social.

In the time since I wrote this post, I’ve not only left social media, but I think I’ve seen the implementation of this idea.

The utopia would probably be something like the IndieWeb, except with the ability for the less tech-savvy to join this network. People have their own blogs and you follow a small select number using feeds like RSS. I think Micro.blog is going in a good direction. If there were several such services, it would be even better.

Similarly, there is the Fediverse, a decentralized, federated social network that you can join using software like Mastodon, Pleroma, PixelFed or Peertube. But you don’t even have to run a server yourself, many volunteers make their server available to others and there is also a service that provides hosting for a fee.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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