There’s a fantastic article by Jeffrey Zeldman in A List Apart this week, starting with the problems of venture capital-backed social networks and ending with the question of whether we can help fix the web:
On an individual and small collective basis, the IndieWeb already works. But does an IndieWeb approach scale to the general public? If it doesn’t scale yet, can we, who envision and design and build, create a new generation of tools that will help give birth to a flourishing, independent web? One that is as accessible to ordinary internet users as Twitter and Facebook and Instagram?
I believe strongly that the answer is “yes”. Brent Simmons also responds, using the example of how even focused apps like RSS readers can move things forward without needing to solve all the problems at once:
Do I claim it’s as accessible to ordinary internet users as Twitter (for instance)? I do not. But it’s the step forward that I know how to take.
This is a great attitude. There are steps forward that we can all take individually, from leading the way by blogging more ourselves, to building tools for others to use. Together these steps add up to something significant that really matters.
It has been very encouraging to watch the Micro.blog community grow and new people regularly post to their own blog first instead of the big ad-based social networks. Seeing so much progress — but also knowing how much more work there is still to do — gives me a lot of hope for the future of the web.