I've been thinking about @photomatt's response to @brian_armstrong's response to @moxie's excellent post about Web 3. Some responses in return. tl;dr: I think @photomatt + WordPress provide much of the model @moxie seeks in the end. 1/
First, let me say I don't give a rat's rump what is Web 1, 2,or 3. They are all hubristic labels based on the ego of the present tense. This is web .000002. As I say often, it's 1475 in Gutenberg (Johannes, not WordPress) years. 2/
A key lesson I came to writing my book (still seeking publisher) on the (Johannes) Gutenberg Parenthesis is that it took a century and a half before groundbreaking innovation came *with* print: the newspaper, the modern novel, the essay (Montaigne), a market for printed plays. 3/
So what interests me about Web N is not what goes *into* it in terms of technological innovation--that will come--but more so what comes from invention *with* the technology, once the tech becomes easy, assumed, boring. 4/
What strikes me (finally) is that WordPress is a *with* not an *into* institution because it allows people to create WTF they want. It makes the technology easy & boring. It allows creators to surprise us with their creations for their own sake, not technology's. 5/
Right there is a model for @moxie's Web 3: ease. Creating NFTs: not easy, not cheap. Creating on WP: easy, cheap, thus fast and open. 6/
Of course, WordPress *is* a creation tool. There are others. But what sets it apart--what set it apart when it won out over Movable Type--is its open-source architecture decreed by @photomatt: The underlying code is open; anybody, including Matt, can build services atop it. 7/
I remember when a Polaris VC scratching his head over Matt's open-source architecture called me to ask whether it was insane to invest. No! I said. I explained why WP would win over MT because of it. The software would spread & improve at the same time. 8/
In this structure, Matt merely has a first-mover advantage in building his services. This is why I am also excited by @jack's proposals for @bluesky, making the speech layer a commodity so innovators can build value-added layers we need (e.g., recommendation, authentication). 9/
So now (at last) to the point re @Moxie: In the end, the post calls for 1) "We should accept the premise that people will not run their own servers by designing systems that can distribute trust without having to distribute infrastructure." 10/

In a sense, doesn't WordPress at least display a model for meeting criterion #1 through open source: multiple instances create a sort of distributed architecture? 11/
.@moxie's 2): "We should try to reduce the burden of building software."
Here, too, doesn't @photomatt WP at least demonstrate a model through its object/block-oriented creation tools (not of software, but of creation *with* software)? 12/
All this is to say that we're not making a clean progression from Web 1-2-3 but instead trying to clean up what was done in Web .0000012. We return to Web 1 to deplatform it through a worldview that is already well proven: open source. I *know* that's simplistic. 13/
My point is that it's just as dangerous to think that Web 3 is an advance on Web 1 & 2 as it is to think that Medieval years were Dark Ages and that the Renaissance was progress and that we are modern. That's the greatest hubris of all. Perspective matters. 14/
In writing about the Gutenberg Parenthesis, I learned the dangers of periodization, for in dismissing what came before, we lose the opportunity to build upon it. This is why I despise journalism's conceit of the "first draft of history," thus ignoring history. (from the MS:) 15/
The reason I'm thinking so much about this is that I'm teaching a course in Designing the Internet next month with @rushkoff. I'd love to assign the post that launched 1K threads, though I fear the technology might be intimidating to students.... 16/
Then I see that's @moxie's point: People don't want to run servers. They don't want to become fluent in something called Web 3. They want to build *atop* (not *in* (that is, not in a walled platform). Making tech complex as a prereq is the equivalent of having to run servers. 17/
So I might well assign the post but also assign @photomatt's thread because it brings historical perspective on the building of the web and demonstrates the whole point of the course: that students have the agency & responsibility to build the future of the net. 18/
Of course, @photomatt sums it all up better than I can: 19/

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More from @jeffjarvis

7 Jan
Here is @pilhofer's excellent analysis of the @nytimes acquisition of @TheAthletic and its likely impact on local newspapers: not good news for them. I have a few more thoughts & questions. 1/
It's becoming clear to me and I think others that The Times now values total subs as its key metric and so it is acquiring a bunch of new subscribers to get it impressively close to its audacious goal of 10 million paying subs. Mazel. 2/
Thus I'm guessing that The Times will add more subscription products alongside sports, food, & puzzles. Sports seems obvious but The Times is not a sports paper a la @NYDNSports. So it needed to acquire something. Here comes The Athletic, in need of a home. Kismet. /3
Read 17 tweets
5 Jan
Well, well. Djokovic hits a hiccup at the border. He should be turned away. Asshole.
Visa and exemption evidence concerns delay Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia smh.com.au/national/visa-…
From Murdoch's Australian.
Good report from ABC Australia.

Read 5 tweets
3 Jan
I've been fearing for Wired, as it seemed to take a dystopian, Guardianesque turn, making up for last snark about technology. But I'm heartened by @glichfield's manifesto concentrating on large problems & tech's role in them vs tech-as-solution-or-problem.
I'm glad that @glichfield is also focusing on the role of people over machines. It is time to learn from the humanities in this discussion. That is why I am starting this course & program at my school. medium.com/whither-news/s…
I want students to learn that they have the agency and responsibility to build the future of the net and society with it. Treating tech as *the* problem will at best get us incremental improvements, at worst more unintended consequences. Thus: medium.com/whither-news/d…
Read 5 tweets
31 Dec 21
In this devastating review of "The Story Paradox," @TimothyDSnyder calls news deserts a crisis of American storytelling. This brings to mind my contention that journalists make the mistake of calling their work "stories" v. "articles." 1/
My journalistic problem with stories is related to my complaint yesterday about coverage of science. To tell a "story" is to need an alpha, an omega, and a neat arc in between. But science--hell, life--is a process without the neat endings journalism desires. 2/
I trust @TimothyDSnyder's judgment and so it's too bad the book is not an adequate examination of the presumptions, seductions, and perils of the story. I'd welcome that discussion. See, for example, les affaires Stephen Glass & Claas Relotius: 3/ medium.com/whither-news/t…
Read 8 tweets
14 Dec 21
I think we might be seeing the last supernova of scale. Scale was required in the age of mass media but that age, my friends, is at its dusk. Every last newspaper trapped in the evil hedge-witch's cabin & pureplays all huddling against the cold are last-ditch efforts to be big.
Will mergers to scale make these companies better able to compete with Google, FB, et al? I think not. The platforms & the rollups will all fight over what is left of the attention-based ad market. That scrabble will go on for awhile.....
In the meantime, others try for scale outside of the ad market: Spotify trying to buy up all the podcasts; Substack trying to lure all the newsletter writers. Apart from some marketing advantage, I see no necessary role for scale in subscription products.....
Read 12 tweets
8 Dec 21
In a few minutes, @APettegree & @A_der_Weduwen will be discussing their new book here:
The Library: A Fragile History | LIVE from NYPL via @YouTube
Jane Kamensky asks the authors about collaborating on books (they've done 3 together). @APettegree is a generous scholar He is surprised there are not more cowritten books in the humanities (as in science). His partnership with @A_der_Weduwen has produced such impressive work.
.@APettegree said his one rule working with @A_der_Weduwen is that each accepts the track-changes made by the other with "no sulking." That is checking one's ego at the keyboard.
Read 15 tweets

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