Recalling lost principles from the “.Com” era to save modern app development

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circuitbored
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Recalling lost principles from the “.Com” era to save modern app development

Post by circuitbored »

Hi there,

I'm usually a straight to the point guy but there's really a lot of important stuff to discuss here with you, so bear with me... I have also posted multiple times here and probably even on your platforms before concerning your moves as you dug us all deeper and deeper into the very limited and blind siding-ly crooked Internet experience we are all lost in now that is slowly grinding closer every day towards public awareness.

Somehow now that we've arrived at the early part of the future in terms of where the Internet is going, we got lost. Just like cable TV did a while back, the Internet is getting overrun with ads and junk content... It's even screwing up the process of searching for important and life saving stuff. The funny thing is that people are paying for their Internet access, and for news on the internet just like we used to for cable TV, and if you had it like I did back in the 90s, somehow the monthly bill keeps going up over time unexpectedly, and so do those ads on the Internet, at the same time as subscription costs for Internet services, and so does your stress every time you get on a social site or app in 2021...

No one wants to watch commercials, they want content. Meaningful stuff that makes them feel better, and frankly, ads are not it...

Surely the products may make us feel better, but that really does not have much to do with entertainment, productivity, and learning when it comes to an online experience... Actually advertisements have really begun to get in the way of entertainment, productivity, and learning increasingly over time, and I guarantee there will be a backlash against it if the tide does not roll back. In recent years more than ever, marketers are going out of their way to subtly place advertisements and products even into (so called) "viral" content that mimics authenticity, and because of that our attention span, mental health, and sense of fact versus fiction has become quite blurred in many ways online... That's a bad thing, well not bad for investors, until they go home and find that their children are getting a bunch of face tattoos, starting only fans and "finsta" pages, and doing a lot of dangerous and illegal things including busting up school bathrooms "for the gram".

Even people who are adults, and should know better, have been doing a lot of really strange and bewildering things in public and in the entertainment world in order to gain attention on their social media accounts to very bad ends... Just a sample:
  • Talking positively about and taking wild medications and denying the entire medical science community's warnings and taking random medications based on advice from talk show hosts and others (who are not medical professionals nor scientists).
  • Raiding secure government buildings while photographing and videotaping themselves stealing objects and making serious threats of harm to others on tape recordings and in posts, and then expecting government leaders will bail you out and that your family will love the new attention (Anonymous account user #38352333) out for the "courageous", wildly stupid, and mentally deranged behavior you got 1300 likes on when you talked about it at first in your live stream.
  • Expressing highly controversial views without a thought of the people affected by public statements, and without forethought of losing their job, because there is an illusion that the resulting popularity will make them enough money to build an expensive security fence around their house so that people never catch them outside.
  • Abusing animals and children in order to stage a sympathy video that makes them look like a savior, in hopes that they'll be primed for a spot as the next crocodile hunter perhaps... But probably not once the real story is uncovered.
  • Breaking laws in many other ways on video, starting arguments with strangers, and performing some of the worst and most dangerous pranks and stunts involving others and very potentially hurting themselves in the process so that they can capture the memory and hopefully end up with their own reality show, or perhaps a staged boxing or MMA match with a now retired legend that may net them a bag of cash.
Ok, so you (massive social media platform or app executive) caused or contributed to this bent-up new reality in your quest for being the world's richest or most popular human yourself perhaps, and drove the entire world to elevate "likes", "influencer culture", and "shareholder profit" above say, compassion, ethical behavior, real happiness, and humanity as a "coveted" human goal (you know... the usual and more timeless "normal" life pursuits)... You're slowly beginning to realize you can't keep this jig up much longer because your investors and the public are now slowly becoming aware of the drastic state of their surroundings, and how reality has been virtually "gas lit" for quite some time. You also possibly realize the rising economic and social instability in the world that feels like it will eat us all unless something changes soon like I do.

So what do you do?

Think far back to the text book of the DotCom era...

NO!! Not the part where flashy offices, dial-up modems, HTML experts driving Ferraris, and investors eavesdropping in CompUSA checkouts for hot stock investment tips... The DotCom era was when companies actually focused heavily on catering to their user base as customers (as opposed to now when a user base is seen as "footballs", "stooges", and "batteries"). Look far back to a time when filling out a feedback survey didn't mean that a targeted advertising profile was being populated for each user -- because back then ads were rare, predictable, and accountable, and analytics only cared about a users IP address, unless they were a "malicious actor".

In the early days of the Internet, good software didn't always require an active Internet connection, believe it or not, and neither did a thermostat or a refrigerator (which still makes a lot of sense if you ask me). User interface design, user experience, functionality, productivity improvements, and features were what made a site or application good, and searching and meta tags worked because structured content was important.

These days many vital information services index a lot of unstructured content, and it's not been a very productive process... Just ask yourself how well things went the last time you tried to upload your resume into a job portal... And then had to pretty much type it all over again once you got to the input form results? (I already know it didn't go well).

Solutions in the 90's were more simple and didn't require anywhere near the bandwidth that applications do now back then... I'm pretty sure almost everyone who was around to witness the birth and early growth of the Internet knows that times back then were far better, less costly, and far more innovatively-driven than they are now, and that means something big. We've lost our bearings and the actual focus that made the Internet take hold of the world, and now the Internet is slowly becoming strangled into oblivion, like cable TV did, and eventually something like RedBox, or even perhaps "Netflix" will move in out of nowhere and blow your giant monopolistic "Blockbuster" social app out of the water, and then change the game before you're even able to scramble to hire developers and push the first build of your "VHS" app to a development sandbox (Just hyperbole for you'll go extinct for those who are too young to remember Blockbuster or VHS, mind you, I'm showing my age there)... um yea.

Now it's quite the mess to clean up, but it's not too late... You can give me a telegram and I'd be happy to consult, but there are literally millions of people who can be just as insightful as me in steering your massive gravy train back on track towards a better future (granted if it's not already too late to prevent "environmental decay" and "climate change" on your massive "ad revenue generating" platform). Here are the steps:
  • Ask your individual users about what they want improved on your platform based on their user experiences. Hold individual users accountable for their actions (especially repeat offenders) and allow them to appeal their actions properly. Don't allow group brigading and cheating to win on your platform.
  • Dedicate yourself to customer service, and probably hire staff to address all of those user support issues you've been ignoring and giving the run-around for ages now.
  • Present all of your platform's content providers (even the ones that aren't influencers) with fair incentives to continue working (not just influencers and paid sponsors).
  • Create and introduce new features and functionality for your platform that aren't based on driving conflict, desperation for attention, and to drive negative sensationalism.
  • Enable better productivity for individuals on your platform and give control over individualized content back to individual users, NOT to algorithms.
  • Realize that each user on your platform will have different goals and reasons for using your platform. Each user has different perspectives and objectives, and that's exactly why one single "trending" or "for you" page is absolutely a terrible and ill conceived idea... Platforms should have multiple specialized (and properly categorized) content and informational views and let users within your community decide their path... Tagging should be accurately placed and effective, searching should be multi-dimensional, and users should NOT be allowed to corrupt or circumvent a platform's search or functional effectiveness.
  • Platforms (sites and apps) should allow users to share content directly from (or directly linking back to) official and original sources/creators anywhere rather than engaging in re-uploads and ripping, but EVERY content provider should always make it a priority to credit the original source of all original content. If you foster an environment of piracy and stolen credit, but enforce content control, you're simply hypocritical, and should probably be in court as a defendant regularly. Once a proven system of creator accountability is properly in place, ONLY THEN should content control and copyright rules be enforced properly. A great way to leverage AI would be to use it to trace content to it's original source... On sites like Reddit and Twitter (for example), many independent developers took initiative to develop very useful "bots" that provided services like that, but a lot of the good bots and bot developers were banned off the platforms or taken into a back room and broken or beaten up never to return... Very bad form, those bots didn't deserve it, they were just helping... :/
  • Think about major changes thoroughly and with compassion without comparing decisions to any profit goals, reduce profit expectations overall or fail by that process of constantly "over-revving" your growth/profit engine.
  • Do not apply human psychology studies to drive profit and engagement... It's bad for everyone already, and it will only get worse.
  • Reduce advertising, limit it to predictable, responsible, and transparent places, manage corporate sponsors and allow them to properly fund you INSTEAD OF your content creators. Rules should be equally enforced across the entire platform, not overlooked in favor of profit nor most popular users.
  • Yeah, sure... Memes are an interesting and often funny way to communicate, but in case you haven't seen the movie Idiocracy, memes are not good for professional instruction in you're doctor's office. Keep meme and non-credentialed content and humorous content CLEARLY SEPARATE from serious content that is meant to be reliable, and fact check serious content. Don't let repeat offenders off the hook.
  • Prioritize a better, heathier, more fair, more positive, and more realistic user experience for your entire audience of users, not just for those who are profitable for or paying to your platform. Be religiously transparent and accurate with statistics, the minute some numbers are a lie (or strategically modified) on your platform, then all numbers are a lie on your platform.
  • Don't wear a bigger footprint than what you can moderate... Stop trying to dominate the entire market if you don't have the right capacity, right staff, and proven responsibility to be able to handle the entire community. Most of your problems may indeed stem from the fact that you've simply outgrown your most affordable outfit. Huge companies never look good in yoga pants... Big companies also aren't very flexible when they try to fit in skinny jeans either.
Don't forget anything said here, or we might say "We told you so" after a giant "unplug" (viewtopic.php?p=23&hilit=unplug#p23) takes a foothold in your part of town.
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