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Tech Writer Anil Dash on The Web We Lost

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 05:00 AM

Blogger Anil Dash says we tend to trumpet the tech revolution, with its vast social networks and slick smartphones, as a triumph of usability and empowerment.  But Dash says a spirit of collaboration and emphasis on the user experience has been lost along the way.

He wrote about this shift on his blog in a post called The Web We Lost.

“There is an ignorance or a lack of history to the way that a lot of people that build the social networks, especially the young engineers, think about this because they weren’t around to see it any other way,” Dash told Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s New Tech City.

Dash cites as example Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. “The first thing that happened as soon as Facebook bought Instragram was they shut off the ability for you to import your friends and find your friends through Twitter because Facebook and Twitter are enemies now.” 

Dash says that may be good for Facebook’s shareholders, but it’s not good for users who want to Tweet photos to their friends. He adds that the walling off of content wouldn’t have happened in the earlier days of the Internet.

“There used to be a time when you put the goals and desires of the user ahead of the corporate infighting and battles,” he said.

Dash believes technology’s new vanguard should take a look at the philosophies that drove their forbearers.

“There are cycles to this stuff,” he said. “The pendulum swings back and forth.”

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