Notes to Self
Along the Ray  

..musings on old-school-web livelihoods & creative pursuits

#blogging#communities How do we get around gatekeepers? https://notes.alongtheray.com/how-do-we-get-around-gatekeepers Looks like Adweek got their hands on a leaked pitch deck from OpenAI to big publishers on their “Preferred Publisher” program: First, it is May-23-2024 23:17:19 -0400
May 23, 2024 updated May 23, 2024
#blogging, #communities

How do we get around gatekeepers?

Looks like Adweek got their hands on a leaked pitch deck from OpenAI to big publishers on their Preferred Publisher” program:

First, it is available only to select, high-quality editorial partners” and its purpose is to help ChatGPT users more easily discover and engage with publishers’ brands and content.

Additionally, members of the program receive priority placement and richer brand expression” in chat conversations, and their content benefits from more prominent link treatments.

Does this mean the big guys can pay to play on the web while us little people get shoved aside (again)? Per Thomas Baekdal, a media analyst:

…these two things, select group of publishers and prominent placement completely undermine the industry as a whole.

Not only do we see the tech companies acting more and more like gatekeepers, and using that power to force interactions via their focus areas, but now we also see that they are going to provide preferential treatment and exposure to some of the largest publishers, leaving everyone else (and especially smaller, independent, and local publishers) with a much less effective market.

This symbolizes everything that is wrong about this. The internet is supposed to be a place where everyone has the same equal opportunities. Where anyone can become a publisher, and through the quality of that work, they can rise to the top and build on their success.

This is the opposite of that. It’s a world defined by gatekeepers, who are giving preferential treatment and better market conditions to those who are already rich.

Read the rest of Bakedal’s post for more details.

With Google rolling out their own AI enhanced search” you can bet they’ll be doing the same thing, further entrenching their gatekeeperism.

Don’t count out Microsoft, Apple, and Meta. They’ll most certainly try to elbow their way in these lucrative walled gardens.

Why keep giving up the web to these giants? There’s nothing wrong with the web itself and its underlying structure that gives us all these spaces to play around in.

Molly @ Citation Needed says we can bring the old web back anew for us:

Nothing about the web has changed that prevents us from going back. If anything, it’s become a lot easier. We can return. Better, yet: we can restore the things we loved about the old web while incorporating the wonderful things that have emerged since, developing even better things as we go forward, and leaving behind some things from the early web days we all too often forget when we put on our rose-colored glasses.

So how do we get around these gatekeepers and how do we educate folks to use alternatives that don’t tilt the playing field in favor of big tech, big corporations / big publishers?

Keep building blog networks and blogrolls that point to each other?

Keep using alternate social media networks (Fediverse, Nostr, Micro.blog, etc.) to spread the word?

Set up something like Wordpress’ Reader?

  • It aggregates blog posts from across WP.com and Jetpack enabled .org blogs
  • Sorta like a blog-social network with posts pulled from all over
  • What I like is they also pull comments and you can comment within
  • As a result community engagement is insanely high - browsing through I see some posts with hundreds of comments
  • Very underrated IMO as a blog discovery mechanism
  • We need something like this for non-WP sites… A global RSS reader of participating blogs.

Why not set up topical portals that pull RSS feeds from topic related blogs and aggregate their headlines? I.e. a portal site all about agricultural techniques, for example (I know I date me with that!) …and have a discussion forum within too?

Bring back and set up web directories / aggregators / wikis on specific topics? Like:

Do local ones too! (See Stratechery on local model)

Set up niche specific search engines?

…and don’t forget independent forums & message boards (move over, Reddit). There’s tons of them and they ain’t dead.

So from what I’ve seen above:

Build Silos” that revolve around specific topic/niche/locations

  • be a one stop shop for all things (insert topic here)”
  • includes a search engine (and crawler) for those topics and…
  • directory of those topic specific sites
  • pull latest headlines/posts from blogs/sites in network/engine
  • forum for folks to yak about that topic/area
  • email newsletters
    • curated - best of, etc.
    • daily or weekly list of latest posts/activity/events from the Silo

All this old school” stuff can be leveraged using newer technologies like the talking trees example above.

And what of the new-new stuff I’m not aware of? Just means more possibilities for us to play with and incorporate. (A good example that comes to mind is how Nostr has exploded with so many different apps, tools, etc. all from a decentralized new technology.)

This may have been just a hair long-winded but all these things/ideas are a tiny sampling of ways we can take the web back and make it our own.

Why let the corporates have it all to themselves? It’s our playground!


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https://notes.alongtheray.com Along the Ray

..musings on old-school-web livelihoods & creative pursuits

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