Social Media End-Game
When we blindly follow industry standards, we miss out on the opportunity to create software that truly promotes the FLOSS philosophy. ... this platform which is still, mind you, the best chance we've got at ever seriously challenging the social media oligopoly. I'm not claiming they've failed, because frankly, the Fediverse has been an enormous success. I just think we can take it a step further. In fact, I think we have a responsibility to take it a step further.
Today, dark patterns are everywhere, and the Fediverse is no refuge from them. Creating a UI for a social media platform that's conductive to the user's self-control wouldn't be easy--in fact, it would spit in the face of everything UI/UX designers have been trying to accomplish for the last two decades. Nevertheless, it's absolutely something worth pursuing. In the same way that Facebook and Twitter should be held responsible for turning their communication platforms into virtual casinos, we should take it upon ourselves to reimagine how users should interact with social media. I don't expect we'll see revolutionary change anytime soon, but if we were to start small, slowly but surely, we could work towards creating a new design philosophy that truly puts the user first.
I like that this post gets to inherent issues with our common social media. UI changes how we interact with our media -- it really changes what the medium is in the first place. So I question how one can make a competitor to Twitter/Facebook and have a different UI intent. That is, Mastodon competes with them because it has a competitively designed, appealing (addictive?) interface and experience. If you change that, you stop competing.
I'm glad for Pnut not to compete with Twitter and Facebook. HTML.is an obvious counter-point to Twitter-alikes. As are the funky not-Twitter like experiences.
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