Services that deliver the same functions as Facebook, for after you #DeleteFacebook


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/25/day-of-reckoning.html


#2

Note I am not saying this as a Facebook user as I found their information gathering skeevy long ago… but seriously. This is why people like it. Now I gotta remember 10 sites, accounts, passwords? And I gotta convince everyone else to use this specific niche platform? Not gonna bother.


#3

It’s too late. My profile, shadow or otherwise, is likely robust and representative.


#4

Clay Shirky’s point that Facebook isn’t successful because it’s so good at hosting group message-boards; rather, its magic lies in finding people to form groups with. If you have a rare disease, Facebook can help you find people in the same situation to trade tips and support with.

[…]

It suggests a roadmap for people planning their own Facebook killers, centered around solving this real human problem without creating a new one that drives their business model

There are a whole bunch of opportunities for sites like Nuzzel and GroupMe to replicate this “people finding” magic. I can also see geneology sites doing the same thing. If they all started agreeing on using something like Diaspora as a standard (and making it more user-friendly) that would spell the end of Facebook as a one-stop shop for building one’s social graphs (because none of us just has one).

The key for any of these services to differentiate itself from FB is to make a clear policy that the user owns his data should be able to configure how and with whom it’s shared in an easy and intuitive and granular manner.


#5

Also check out Manton Reece’s work with micro.blog. I backed his Kickstarter and am a big believer in the indie web.


#6

That’s the secret of Microsoft’s success, which many dot.coms try to emulate.


#7

Luckily I already have LinkedIn to suggest I might want to connect to people I don’t know, have never met, and who live very far away from me.


#8

Yup. Won’t happen. The truth is that the only way to actually replace Facebook (as opposed to simply stop using it) is with an open source equivalent. Proprietary companies expanding into FB’s market share will repeat the same mistakes and malfeasance.

Unfortunately because our fucked up legal system provides near immunity to large proprietary corporations (save from each other), it’s not unlikely that the open source alternative would be destroyed by lawsuits, if not from ordinary litigants then from feudal corporations such as Facebook.

Then, even if the software is maintained mostly or entirely by volunteers, there’s the problem of paying for the servers. While it’s likely a technological solution can eventually be found to the capital operating costs, no such solution exists now that wouldn’t grind the network to a halt. That wouldn’t be a problem if users were willing to pay a monthly subscription fee, but apparently our democracy isn’t worth $10 to $15 dollars a month.

In broader sense these are problems not unique to social networks, but endemic to the internet, and why it’s being eaten by metastasizing corporations.


#9

Or Framadate.


#10

Or Framadate.

Thank you very much for the suggestion, but with seemingly no support for time zones, that is a non starter for a modern date/time finder. Have to stuck with doodle for now I guess.


#11

Sadly, the format of Nextdoor makes it basically unusable for anything but posting a yard sale. Any very active discussion quickly becomes unmanageable.

I am proudly “never Facebook”, I have 4 or 5 special interest forums that I keep track of, and none of them push anything at me that I can’t easily turn off or tune in the site settings. I’m annoyed at the WNYC app that I can’t set it to “no messages”.


#12

pay for it or not, you’re still a product


#13

Honestly, I have no idea what Facebonk is for.


#14

What we need is an open-source package that’s easy to install on hosting space we control as individuals, but that makes it easy to connect to our friends and aggregate their feeds. Something like Wordpress, but social. I get the impression a lot of the pieces are there, but there’s no turnkey package.

Stuff like Mastodon and micro.blog are cool in their own way, and can be self-hosted, but that doesn’t seem like the intended format, and they’re not so much alternatives to FB as to Twitter (which also desperately needs to be put out of our misery). A real FB alternative would need groups and events.


#15

Diaspora?


#16

I think this is the best alternative I’ve seen:


#17

It’s been a while, but last time I looked into it, it was for stalking women at Harvard.


#18

Sadly, none of these services will ever be used by my older relatives or parents, which is why I am still on Facebook and will be, for as long as they are.


#19

You are welcome.


#20

I love this opening line:

> After you #DeleteFacebook … you’ll be wanting to replace the services it provided…

I will?

You know, when AOL’s walled garden collapsed under the weight of a gigagazillion 3.5 inch floppies, it turned out I didn’t need to replace its services either. (Actually I never had them, I grew up on Usenet… ah the internet of yesteryear!) I’m not sure what’s different here. I’m not sure that there is ever a pressing need to replace crippled-by-design walled-garden internet services.