In the recent months it has become more and more clear for everyone to see that putting everything in one companies’ hands doesn’t really work out for you afterall.
While you probably, as most of us, didn’t actually use it, someone else might’ve and they might’ve used it actively. Now imagine this is what you use to communicate with most of your extended family, upload vacation photos for them to enjoy and comment your cousin’s wedding announcement.
But what if Google suddenly decides that Google+ is no longer worth running and announces it’s shutdown? This is exactly what Google did, with less than 4 months of time to do … well what exactly?
There is basic export-functionality, but where would you move, anyway? Facebook is, privacy-wise at as bad as Google is, and, well, social network wise, that’s about it. The problem is, we have no realistic alternative to Facebook.
Yes, there are a few decentralized alternatives around, but none of them have any real world usage (maybe Mastodon, but that might just be my filter bubble and it’s still different from being Google+ or Facebook). Diaspora tried to achieve that years ago, but for whatever reason it never really caught on.
For the user there is no real alternative besides move to Facebook which, if you ask me, sucks ass.
Facebook should’ve never gotten that big, we should’ve moved to something based on ActivityPub years ago, since it’s easy to host, easy to migrate, interoperable with other ActivityPub-based stuff and it’s getting easier to use by the minute.
The only thing keeping me on Twitter and YouTube are the people and their content, not the (mostly) shitty platforms.
I don’t care if YouTube satisfies the advertisers or the investors, what I care about is the new video from my favorite creator, which just happens to be on YouTube, but might as well be on PeerTube, DTube or whatever (Sidenote for PeerTube: it’s based on ActivityPub as well, which means your subscriptions and creator-updates will show up just fine in your Mastodon-timeline! 🎉).
The same rules, of course, apply for checks notes backups as well.
A few years ago I used a service called Everpix, which I used to backup my photos. I loved it, it was fast, easy, cheap, it ticked all the boxes. But then, of course, it had to shut down
I hastily replaced it with Loom, which was, you guessed it, shutdown after Dropbox
killed it shut it down with 4 weeks notice.
After that, I once again scrambled to find a replacement … which was PictureLife.
Of course, it
got killed shut down as well.
Luckily, it’s shutdown happened after I had migrated all my stuff to Apple’s iCloud Photo Library, but now all my stuff is at Apple’s mercy. If they ever shutdown (lol) or get acquired (lol), I will be in the situation I got out of just in time.
Now once again we rely heavily on services the tech giants provide us with.
We don’t own our movies, we watch them on our Netflix/Prime Video/Hulu/Disney+ subscription (or which ever asshole comes up with another one by the time I have finished this post).
But I can still buy a digital copy of any move, dipshit!
Well, of course you can, but you should pray to
Tim Apple Tim Cook that Apple can keep the rights forever, otherwise you’ve bought jack shit. Yes, you get a refund, but it won’t be in cash but iTunes credit instead, so don’t even think about buying that movie on Prime Video.
You’re always at the mercy of the original rights holder, waiting to take away things you bought. Geez, I can’t possibly imagine why people still pirate movies.
If companies won’t let us legally own stuff in a digital way (I’m not talking about an optical disc), people will pirate what they want, the only one who get’s fucked is the lawful customer and the owner, never the pirate.
But I digress, back to topic.
We need to get out of digital silos. We need to stop using one single company and every service they offer.
Stop using Safari’s reading list, use Instapaper, Pinboard or Pocket. Stop using Amazon’s Kindle service, use literally any other service, preferrably one without DRM. If you can, stop using Dropbox, iCloud Drive and whatever, run a NextCloud instance.
Stop centralizing, start decentralizing.