Hossein Derakhshan was a key blogger in Iran who was jailed for his writing, and recently released. He has entered a new world:

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 before jail. That’s the web we have to save.

You should read the entire article (it’s long) on the Guardian. Hat tip: Kevin O’Keefe.

8 thoughts on “The Changing Web

  1. Hasn’t blogging always been a numbers game? Before Facebook and Twitter, we were bragging about our pageviews, our RSS subscribers, the number of comments a post could gain. Self-promotion was commenting on other blogs in our niche and hoping readers would follow you over to your blog.

    That said, I could do without the slog of trying to be present on dozens of different platforms, building a following and trying to engage people everywhere while still trying to create content.

  2. The world around us changes every day just as life itself changes. So why would the web not change. As a New Year is here, we say out with the old in with the new. Changes can be good it keeps us on our toes to strive to be better.

  3. Totally!! But then that’s the natural cycle right?

    Here’s my two cent. The moment main stream media realized that we could use that good ‘ol web to make money, suddenly that innocent young web went from the ‘new kid on the block’ to become an important figure of main stream media. Then, the rat race of pageviews, likes, shares & tweets started…

    Hope it makes sense.

  4. He has a very good point:
    “And not only do the algorithms behind the stream equate newness and popularity with importance, they also tend to show us more of what we have already liked. These services carefully scan our behaviour and delicately tailor our news feeds with posts, pictures and videos that they think we would most likely want to see.”

    I can’t agree with this more. The Web is democratic, to a point. There’s endless information and people (me included) tend to pick what we already agree with. So, the fact that there’s so much information out there doesn’t really help us learn new things. It can also help us reinforce what we already think and find evidence to support it.

    I think that social networks didn’t invent this behavior. They understood it and help make it easier to implement.