I believe that Luis Suarez has started something in Curmudgeons Unite!:
I guess I could sum it up in one single sentence: “The more heavily involved I’m with the various social networking sites available out there, the more I heart my own personal business blogs“. As you may have guessed, this crankiness phase I’m going through hasn’t got anything to do with the world of social computing in general, but more with a good number of social networking sites. And, funny enough, they all happen to be some of the most popular ones.
It all has got to do with something as important as protecting your identity, your brand (And that one of the company that may be employing you), your personal image, your own self in various social software spaces that more and more we seem to keep losing control over, and with no remedy.
It’s not just about owning your data online, though I think this is important, but also the fact that social media come and go and even change the rules. One way to keep information accessible is to use an open, accessible, personal blog as the centre of your web presence.
As I thought about Luis’ post, I realized that there are a lot of social media applications that aren’t worth using because they lock you in or just make things more complicated for your content in the long run. Luis cites Facebook and LinkedIn: “Do you realise that by making heavy use of either of them you pretty much lose all of your rights to the content that you generate and therefore should own by default?”
In addition, Luis criticizes Slideshare but counters with Twitter as a good example of an open platfrom. My own list includes URL shorteners like Ow.ly that send you to their site or append lengthy additions to the original URL. It makes it very difficult to make citations to the original work, a major pain for anyone who blogs regularly, as Stephen Downes noted about Feedburner’s Link Pollution.
I’ve decided to start the Curmudgeon’s Manifesto, which may serve as a call to arms to start dumping platforms that don’t understand how to play nice on the Internet. It’s our playground, and through our actions we get to set the rules of conduct.
Here’s my start (additions welcome):
- I will not use web services that hijack my data or that of my network.
- I will share openly on the Web and not constrain those with whom I share.
- I will not lead others into the temptation of using web services that do not respect privacy, re-use, open formats or exportable data.
A suggestion from Doug Belshaw:
Change the name of the Curmudgeon’s Manifesto to the Open Educators’ Manifesto (or similar). Back OpenID and OpenSocial. People like to sign up to positive-sounding things that cite big players or existing traction.