Blogs, data, and social networks
Anil Dash wrote a piece last week advocating for a transition from "page-centric" publishing platforms to "stream-centric". He points to services such as Twitter, Facebook, and even Tumblr as examples for why stream-based publishing platforms are the future. His observation that the only reason the "old page model" is still around is because of advertising is spot-on and well said.
However, Dash misses on one big point in his post, he writes:
So: Start publishing streams. Start moving your content management system towards a future where it outputs content to simple APIs, which are consumed by stream-based apps that are either HTML5 in the browser and/or native clients on mobile devices.
These APIs already exist, we call them RSS. We don't need a ton of VC money, and developers and designers to solve this problem; it's already solved. What we need are those designers and developers to start creating tools that work on top of the existing RSS/Atom layer.
You are not blogging enough. You are pouring your words into increasingly closed and often walled gardens. You are giving control - and sometimes ownership - of your content to social media companies that will SURELY fail. These companies are profoundly overvalued, don't care about permalinks, don't make your content portable, and have terms of service that are so complex and obtuse that there are entire websites dedicate to explaining them.
Interesting uh? This blog right here is mine; I own the content, the URL, the design, everything. I have structured it so that each item has a permanent link for people to save, retweet, share, whatever. I don't have to worry about this great service I use being bought by someone else and killed off as a "talent acquisition". I still use Twitter of course, and I have an app.net account, but the "important" pieces of data, flow from this blog to those streams.
Scott ends his post by asking a simple question:
You want control? Buy a domain and blog there.
He's right. Start blogging, and start re-thinking how that blog looks and functions. Mr. Dash is right too, streams are the better way to go, the beauty of it is that blogs can easily be streams. I know I have a couple ideas that I want to experiment with right here in the coming months.
So get to it, start a blog. Make something, stop whining, and enjoy the incredible era we live in.