I need to get something off my chest. Buckle up folks.

I'm deeply concerned about the future of the #fediverse and open social protocols. NOT because of the recent Twitter news, but quite the opposite.

The way so many poo-poo'd and decried those efforts was heartbreaking. It shows a severe blind spot in the "libre" community.

Listen, if you don't understand why Twitter, why iOS, why Microsoft (back in the day), etc. is popular, you just don't get this fight.


UI/UX will win with users EVERY DAMN TIME. The only way free protocols can get any mainstream traction is if the UI/UX is *as good if not better* than proprietary alternatives.

People will use Twitter, IG, Facebook, etc. for the rest of time…if the UX is way better. Period. End of discussion.

That's why Twitter's foray into open protocols is SO IMPORTANT. If they can bring their UX knowhow into the discussion, that's a GOOD THING. This can't just be libre-geek-hacker world forevermore.


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@jared I share some of these concerns, though I'd phrase things a bit differently.

On UI/UX: a huge element of this is simply *accessibility*, not as in disabled-access, but as in _anyone_ even *knowing* about the tool. Or if you prefer mindshare.

This is a huge part of the stick MSFT beat Linux (and Apple) with, until Google kicked both their butts with Android. Being the most popular might not win you respect, but damned if they don't know who you are.

@jared There's also a hard-to-describe and poorly-appreciated dynamic of costs, _not_ in the strictly financial sense. But the party/ies who can drive standards over others will win that particular cost battle, and dictate standards. Twitter's not as invincible as many people think, but it's likely more so than Gargron alone (though Gargron plus Other Interested Parties could get interesting).

Interestngly, Google employs the economist who's had most of the interesting things to say ...

@jared ... about fighting tech standards wars, Hal Varian.

(And no, Google's not Twitter, though they're all but certainly interested in this.)

It's surprisingly easy and inexpensive to sideline an exceedingly prominsing and useful technology or protocol for years or decades. The history of comms tech is littered with this (packet-switching / TCP/IP case in point, AT&T's role was hugely significant). This is another such case.

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