Many of us in technology-adjacent circles have been grumbling for years about the continued centralization of the web. The overwhelming trend has been for content to gravitate towards the internet’s Great Walled Gardens – Facebook, YouTube, Medium, and company. As time marches on, not only are those gardens getting bigger, but their walls are growing higher. There was a time that those platforms made motions in the direction of openness – XMPP support in Hangouts or Messenger for example – but interoperability on their part is a fading relic of a more idealistic past.
It’s not clear what it’ll take to break the walls back down, and we’re not likely to bring back the exploratory, I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing culture of the 90s & early 2000s, but a necessity to renewed decentralization is the continued production of content that lives outside those walls. A fond memory of the earlier days of the internet was the experimentation – people building new sites and projects in every medium from writing to Photoshop to interactive Flash 1.
In that spirit 2: I just arrived in Berlin, and am running a tiny photography and writing project called Sequences while I’m here. The format is a photograph every day, accompanied by a few words that I’ll try to keep interesting. Think of it like an isolate, self-hosted, Ye Olden Days version of Instagram. No likes, comments, or react-ji – just a channel from me to the open web in the hopes that I can show you some cool stuff.
1 Not every idea was a good one.
2 I’m not doing quite as well on the exploratory front, but building a Flexbox-based (still quite possibly the single greatest innovation in CSS of all time) image gallery, and trying a few new CSS techniques were new to me.
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