Owning your content on the web should not require extensive technical knowledge or special skills. It should be just as easy as signing up for a cellphone plan.
Max hits on the some of the same thoughts I’ve had regarding IndieWeb in the past. The whole Mastodon signup process was a stark reminder of the complexity involved. I consider myself a relatively smart person, but even with folks explaining it to me, I’m still not entirely clear on why I would choose one server over another and whether it matters at all. Choosing which server, for me, was just a moment of confusion and while it was a minor one that obviously didn’t stop me from signing up, it’s a point of friction that I’m sure puts an upper cap on Mastodon’s potential for growth.
But like Max, I’m not so convinced mass adoption should be the goal….for any social platform honestly.
I had been using Twitter less and less over the last few years. If you set out to design a platform with the intention of it encouraging increasingly divisive hot-takes, you’d be hard pressed to do a better job of it than Twitter. The brevity of the posts, the immediacy of the feed, the little micro-doses of dopamine from seeing your content shared and liked…all of it encourages off-the-cuff hot takes and discourages anything resembling constructive conversation.
Maybe this is an opportunity not to just reset our social feeds and own our content, but to re-consider the power of social media to connect us and explore what it might mean to design an experience that is more calm and considered.