reading this article on how metastasizing corporate social media suffocated community on the internet (in particular art communities like deviantart) makes me think that—like learning html and css—learning how to set up and administer and customize your own installation of forum/community software should be considered a basic part of internet literacy

in my experience there was definitely a feedback loop that happened in education around the time that facebook etc gained popularity: classes that had been about learning how to make web pages suddenly became about how to use existing platforms; when github came out, the parts of programming classes that had been about learning how to share/upload/collaborate on code were replaced with "sign up for a github account" etc. (and as an educator i'm guilty of all of this too)

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@aparrish Or ideally, we figure out decentralized social media, and make the clients amenable to tweaking.

...but now that I say that, I realize that I've been using Kotlin and Rust for my experiments in that direction. I should probably be using something like Python that can be edited in place!

@aparrish what communities today that are based around learning and sharing code are *not* based on github?

last time i checked, exercism wasn't. although it does allow you to sign up with github

@aparrish it's a really common mistake to think tools will create a workflow (when really it's reversed: you figure out how to work and then you select tools that support it). I cannot tell you the number of times people have tried, "but if we switch to X people will [wishful thinking, usually "file more bug reports" or "close more tickets"]" on me in various workplaces. It never happens.

@aparrish so I can see how the thinking of "oh this tool that supports code collaboration will teach people how to work collaboratively" happens. It's like assuming handing kids forks and knives teaches them not to eat with their hands. It...kinda might? But you still have to teach table manners.

@courtney right—in this metaphor i think what i'm even more concerned about is that the kids don't even realize they CAN eat with their hands, and assume all food must be compatible with and licensed for Google-brand forks (or whatever).


I'm surprised there's no specific mention of infinite scroll, which I'd loathe even if it wasn't hard on my creaky old laptop. I find it weird that sites for comics, which are the only art form I feel would benefit from that, rarely have it. I use ipernity for my work these days. It lacks i-s and I couldn't be happier about that.

I think some people think Git is intuitive, but it is not.

@aparrish this was a simultaneously nostalgic and depressing read. I don’t know that we’ll ever be able to get this kind of internet back without some kind of revolution, and given the heft of the opponents, i’m not sure a revolution could succeed.

@aparrish ooof, so much to be said! DeviantArt was my first "social network" so it brings a lot of memories ;)

All places seem to go through their own Eternal September, don't they? Around 2002-2003, DA knew a large influx of furries artist, refugees from a board that recently closed, and it was already seen as something killing the "real spirit" of the website ;)

@aparrish DA moderators, around the same era, managed to alienate several artists close to my heart. Their idea of "If it could hang in a museum" was sometimes way more limited than how it sounds. And that's how I slowly drifted away from DA.. also because a lot of my DA friends started a Livejournal ;)

@aparrish but back to the article, I think it's also missing something about the impact of "apps" vs the old www (something kinda captured here

Tumblr has indeed customisable themes, but I get the feeling that an increasing number of users just interact with it through the app. Apps comes with such a different type of interaction / expected convenience, and such a different mode of distribution (under the control of Apple and its store)...

@aparrish (sorry just a bunch of random thoughts. Back to work, and see you on Thursday!)

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