I saw this video posted on Discord, and wanted to share it, as well as my thoughts on it.
There are several aspects of this video that I agree with. It seems the growth direction for many sites is pointing towards locking down and monetizing further off their users. These companies grow in size (It looks like Reddit has 2000 employees, for example), and have an obligation from their shareholders to generate profit, and recently that has resulted in sites shooting themselves in the foot.
Google as a search engine has gotten worse. I noticed it subconsiously, but this video made me actually reflect. While doing to designs, searching for parts or references, Google would reliably find what I’m looking for. But now I’ve got to dig around, and it’s become sort of a pain now that I’m aware of it. I tried out duckduckgo.com recently and was getting better results, so perhaps it’s time to change my habits.
I actually think Youtube would not be in the wrong for looking to cut content from inactive users. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to suck. But from YouTube’s perspective, their algorithms only push new and recent content for the most part, and it’s likely getting expensive to hold onto some of this old / obscure content. Though I think if they’re looking to trim content, perhaps it makes more sense to cut based partially on content age and recent viewer count.
Twitter – I barely used Twitter and have since completely stopped. Rich people are weird and I personally think Elon Musk is running the company the way he is for tax reasons. He’s not incompetent.
Last time I was on Reddit, it had seemed that people were overreacting a bit, since admin had announced that mod tools would be exempt. But that said, the direction indicates that Reddit is trying to have it’s users more captive and force ads. It’s why I currently (and always will unless something changes) use Firefox. It’s only going to get harder to block adds on a Chromium based browser.
All of that said, I think this could be somewhat of a good thing. The older I get, the more I yearn for the 2000’s version of the internet. Browsing through forums, landing on someone’s weird little blog, unproduced goofy YouTube videos. The social media mentality sort of increased refinement and caused internet activity to coalesce into a much smaller number of sites. And now I kind of feel like that homogeneity is lame. If these sites start hemorrhaging users, it’s not like they’re going to stop using their internet; they’re just going to look for something new. I’m holding out hope that it will undo some of that conglomeration that social media brought. It’s for this same reason that I run my own little blog.
And all of that aside, I should note that for the past 2 weeks I’ve been off of social media completely. No Reddit, no Youtube. Don’t really open my browser up for anything except email and guitar tabs. I still “fill” that need on Discord, which in my opinion is a more superior social experience. It’s going to be interesting to see where the internet goes in the next few years. But one things for sure, I’ve found I lead a more fulfilling life if I don’t pay attention to it.