The Internet we need to save

The Internet we need to save

Tom Webster and I have been doing a podcast together for nearly three years. And this is what Tom had to say about our latest episode: “This was our best podcast ever.”

What made it so?

It was a stripped down show, squeezed in between business travel and the holidays. We eschewed our normal funny “bit” at the beginning to dive right into a topic that elicited both debate and passion:

Is the Internet changing for the better or for the worse, and should businesses care? We were inspired by a passage in a recent London Guardian post by Hossein Derakhshan.

I miss when people took time to be exposed to opinions other than their own, and bothered to read more than a paragraph or 140 characters. I miss the days when I could write something on my own blog, publish on my own domain, without taking an equal time to promote it on numerous social networks; when nobody cared about likes and reshares, and best time to post.

That’s the web I remember … That’s the web we have to save.

How has the Internet changed in ways that help us or hurt us? Are our values and the promise of the web being slowly “boiled away?” Is the “inward gaze” of social media becoming a dead-end for content? As “newness and popularity” replace authority on the web does its significance decline?

One of our deepest and most interesting discussions. I think you will enjoy audio discussion. Is this the Internet we need to save?

If you can’t access the podcast above, click on this link to listen to Episode 66

Resources mentioned in this podcast

How Facebook and Instagram are killing the Internet

Mark Bernstein

The book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition
by Jared Diamond

Illustration courtesy of Flickr CC and Backbone campaign

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  • Mark and Tom, you’ve called out some critical issues but I feel this is the most important issue you’ve addressed to date! Personally, I’ve always agreed with this position. BTW, the link to the Derakhshan article is not working (unless the goal was a google search result).

  • Thanks for your comment and I will correct the link sir!

  • I’ve ben saying for the last couple of years that Facebook is the Boob Tube 3.0.
    While people may think they are in control, truth is, their conversations are being moderated by a robot. (algorithm).
    There is little deep engagement on Facebook, probably the same as you get yelling at the TV over a dropped catch or an interview with Donald Trump.

    Another example of social media sites holding on to our content at the expense of our websites is the rumoured move by Twitter to increase it’s character limit. We’ll see 140, but there will be a “read more” so we’ll stay on the site longer and be exposed to “commercials”.

    You were right, Mark. This is an exceptional episode in what is already an exceptional series. Thank you.

  • I’ve ben saying for the last couple of years that Facebook is the Boob Tube 3.0.
    While people may think they are in control, truth is, their conversations are being moderated by a robot. (algorithm).
    There is little deep engagement on Facebook, probably the same as you get yelling at the TV over a dropped catch or an interview with Donald Trump.

    Another example of social media sites holding on to our content at the expense of our websites is the rumoured move by Twitter to increase it’s character limit. We’ll see 140, but there will be a “read more” so we’ll stay on the site longer and be exposed to “commercials”.

    You were right, Mark. This is an exceptional episode in what is already an exceptional series. Thank you.

  • Thanks for the validation and for taking the time to comment Ray!

  • Kirsty Hay

    Great episode… Love the show. The Marketing Companion is, obviously, on my ‘always listen’ favourites list. Looking forward to the return of the comedy intro! Thanks 🙂

  • RogierNoort

    Hey Mark and Tom… I’d like to add a thought, based on the last analogy Mark made (about Easter Island). If we consider Facebook and the likes as the cutting down of trees, and building monuments, it seems to me that these, in the end, will wither away, to be replaced.., or not.

    What remains is the island itself, and in the case of the Internet, it won’t be dead, not even close to dying, what’s left are the blogs, the individual websites, the personal repositories.

    Wherever you publish, promote or ignite, your homebase will always be there, even after the collapse.

    Keep up the good work guys…

  • Nigel Ohrum

    Love the discussion / education on social media cul-de-sacs. Hossien’s perspective is eye-opening and one worth sharing / talking about. Fantastic podcast this gents.

  • Evaldas Miliauskas

    Definitely hit the nail when Tom mentioned television, as being served content instead of actually choosing the content you want. That’s one of the primary reason I’m not a avid facebook user and haven’t had TV for over 15 years. In terms of being the web becoming more mainstream as mentioned is inevitable and being internet as it is it adapts to people who are using it. That’s why it’s so powerful in the first place. I’m pretty sure that there will always be a place for like minded individuals just like in a real world. In the end that’s what it is – just a mirror of our physical space.

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