“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Mr. Williams says. “I was wrong about that.”
That’s Ev Williams, founder of Medium, Twitter, and Blogger, in The New York Times. The headline begins “The Internet is Broken”. So it is. But perhaps, as Nick Denton recently suggested, the “good internet will rise up again.”
What might it look like? And what signs of it can we see today?
For me personally, the less time I spend on social media and the more I spend in Pocket or Coursera, the better an internet day I have. Here are a few things on the internet I’m excited about right now:
MOOCs. I use them constantly, and whether or not they ever transform formal education they’ve already changed my life and helped my career.
Pocket. There is no other app that better represents the good internet. The new recommendations are great, which is saying something given the quality of most content recommendations. I hope their recent acquisition by Mozilla helps them sustain themselves.
Prediction tournaments. A bit niche, but they’re fun, useful, and a way to put the wisdom back into “wisdom of the crowd.” Publishers should be doing more with them.
Machine intelligence. This one is unoriginal, I know. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal.
May the good internet return soon.