Nowadays you probably know these as, for examples, Slack and Google Groups, but the old ways still work. I am logged in to irc.libera.chat right now, in fact, having moved over from freenode after the weird and allegedly hostile takeover of that stalwart service. Most of the people I have remained in contact with using, say, Facebook or LinkedIn, tend not to use these old ways, so my own interactions are fewer than they could be, but there is something to think about.
On the IRC front, it is a much simpler system than the web-based, data-driven social networks we hear about continuously in the news media. This is sort of humorous to me, when I hear that world leaders must be able to use Twitter (for example) to engage their citizens and the world. Imagine you’re POTUS and you set up irc.whitehouse.gov, always available to engage anyone who wants to check it out, with any number of channels and no editing or corporate policies to conflict with national interests.
How often do you hear about the decentralized internet, with content “on the blockchain.” Well, not nearly so trendy perhaps, but 99% of what I have to say would fit into Usenet posts if I wanted to distribute my content in a decentralized way, and anyone who would want to peer with me could have all of my posts and interactions in my newsgroups copied in our peering relationship and… voila! If my server “goes away,” the content is still there in any peers.
I mention these old school tools because, well, I’m tired of the new age of social media and all of the problems the super-commercialization of the surveillance economy has brought us, but as well, I’m sort of amazed at how the new and cool stuff is repackaged irc, news, and email. Yes, audio and video live streams and filters and whatnot are legitimately interesting for many things, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Facebook and Twitter become the modern day MySpace museum pieces. (For the nerdles, I’ll add XMPP to the list of good things)
Just a thought. That’s dhugo on irc.libera.chat by the way.