Facebook’s presumably a more successful AOL

Back in the late 1990s, AOL tried to create an alternative internet. It was roundly derided, and everyone instead used its sign-up CDs as drink coasters.

As far as I can see, Facebook is now trying very hard to create an alternative internet for its users, one which threatens to be more successful.

Facebook has said publicly that it wants to make the experience of consuming content online more seamless. News articles on Facebook are currently linked to the publisher’s own website, and open in a web browser[…]

In addition to hosting content directly on Facebook, the company is talking with publishers about other technical ways to hasten delivery of their articles.


Facebook has a lot of users, and it’s worrying how many organisations are willing to give up their own identities – online and off – for a perceived share of those. Any company that believes Facebook has anyone’s interests but Facebook’s at heart is a fool. Otherwise its way of making “consuming content online more seamless” would probably not involve putting it into Facebook.

Instead I’m inclined to agree with Dave Pell:

Here’s what tech people are really good at:


Because tech happens to be at the center of a financial and cultural revolution, the people who have been talented and fortunate enough to make to the apex of the industry are perceived as oracles of industry; every industry.

And therefore are no more qualified to tell other industries what to do than the people who tell technology companies what to do from the outside.

Though that coming from someone who’s ceded their writing to Medium is a little comic.

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