Is the golden age of the internet over?

Maybe your experience has been different. From my perspective the internet used to be a medium for creativity, freedom of expression, information sharing (without trying to sell something), and often just plain fun. But now that everything has become filtered through the lens of corporate profits and government control, the internet has definitely lost it’s luster. It’s kind of a drag really. Creativity is pushed out by sensationalized everything for more clicks and ad revenue. Express something outside of the corporate/government boundaries and you’ll get cancelled, including just sharing information. So what is the point of the internet today?

There’s the corporate internet and the rest of it. Even with increasing censorship if enough people got behind different search engines and other platforms, supported them with some cash and told people about them we’d collectively change things over time. There are plenty of options, and finally the EU are clamping down on Google putting their own search and their own apps on phones without choice or ability to uninstall. 90s Microsoft/IE is small potatoes compared to what they’ve been up to.

I think that depends on how you define “the internet”.

The “internet” is a communications tool, and as with any tool, it’s all about how you use it.

Google, Facebook, You Tube, Twitter etc. aren’t the internet, they’re just applications. And as with any application, when you play in their sandbox, you have to play by their rules.

Regarding search engines, when hasn’t information been censored and controlled? The thing is, you don’t need a search engine to use the internet.

I hope the golden age of the applications is coming to an end, but I think the golden age of the internet is still evolving.

There are people on this forum from all over the planet. If I’m curious about something going on in Australia, the UK, Germany, etc., using the internet, I don’t have to rely on what the media conglomerates think I need to know, I can just ask someone who lives there.

I still think that’s pretty cool.

Calling these tech giants merely ‘apps’ is being naive. Google is the largest search engine in the world at something like 95% of searches. Youtube is the second biggest (more Google). To think that these giants don’t have a far reaching influence throughout the internet is definitely naive. Google not only limits what information users will access, they influence more than 95% of internet searches, content creation, discussions, and how people are able to find each other. It’s very similar for Facebook and Twitter in the social media realm. And this is the point of the original post. For some years the internet wasn’t censored and controlled as it is now, and there was tons more creativity and freedom in general. That is what made it great. Now that is relegated to small pockets that don’t turn up readily, if you can find them at all.

Some years ago I worked a job that involved a lot of travel across the U.S. Something that struck me right away was how similar most cities had become, littered with the same chain businesses from one stop to the next. It virtually didn’t matter which city you were in. They were all becoming homogenized to the same corporate landscape. That is the equivalent of happened to the internet since. A corporate culture swallowing everything up, year by year. Same thing happened in music too. You could flip on songs by 100 current ‘artists’ today and get much of the same superficial variations of the same modern pop.

Variety is the spice of life. And when there is no real variety, creativity is killed. The way that happens is by killing freedom.

I’m hardly naive brain, 40 years in computers and IT. I had a front row seat during all of it.

It doesn’t cost much to register your own domain, get your own email, and launch your own website. But if you don’t want to put in that kind of work, and you want someone else to do the heavy lifting for you, and you want it for free, then you shouldn’t complain about how they do it.

As far as all the social media goes, why bother? I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the value of any of it. Just seems like digital voyeurism to me.

You’re missing the point completely. When connections between people are killed off, people aren’t creating for one another, aren’t participating with one another creatively, and they lose interest. What corporate culture calls ‘creators’ these days has the opposite meaning. ‘Creators’ today are those who bend to Google guidelines and such so as to be deemed relevant for mass access for ad $ that swamps out all else.

What you are participating in on this site is a very small pocket of social media. Thing is that there used to be much more going on with many more non-corporate discussion sites. Nowadays it is Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, where discussions can easily be controlled. And anyone can make a site today, but that has little bearing on how people will discover it, which didn’t used to be the case.

Nobody is killing off any connections we’re making here.

Barry and I collaborated on some pretty good music, and we didn’t need Google or Facebook to do that. I put some of those songs on my website and he put his on his Bandcamp page. Didn’t need big tech for any of that.

When you start talking about people finding it, that has nothing to do with the internet itself, that’s marketing.

And when hasn’t marketing been a huge factor in people finding your music. If you wanted people to hear your music before the internet, you had to play by the big recording/distribution companies rules. The only thing that’s changed is the asses you have to kiss.

Yup, all the same chains everywhere here too, slowly homogenizing the urban landscape over time.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when visiting the pyramids that right next to them was an f-ing KFC and a Pizza Hut.

I’m talking in a broader sense of people being connected. Most people today feel that the internet is isolating and alienating people from one another, rather than bringing us together. It hasn’t been this way for that long. It’s not the internet of course. It’s the control and influence being exerted on users of the internet that is making people feel that way.

Well, I agree with you there. I’ve stated many times my being one of those geeks from the 70’s and 80’s who dreamed of this technology bringing people closer together. That was naive.

But there’s still value out there, and the internet is still the best communications tool everyday people have ever had access to.

Given a year here or there we wouldn’t be here at all. Music collab is one thing, but we only learned the interesting perspectives we have via the freedom of the old place back in the nevernevertimes. Now that censorship has kicked in there, it’s just a sea of avatars talking about compressors, take systems and plugins. Nice and all that, but humans don’t talk like that outside of work.

Well, that was Justin and them’s sandbox, their game, their rules. But it was interesting, as is this.

That is where I’m at with the old place too. It was the the variety of people and discussion there that made the place interesting. And much of daw talk is the same old rehash, over and over.

It would be nice if we could get more people joining in here.

Maybe use your social media to invite people to check it out.

The net has certainly been of great benefit to me, esp afa technical know how, I learned a lot, downloaded what I needed to make audio recordings, sorted out the snake oil from what’s important.

But then there’s the other stuff referred to in this thread, goggle, fakebook and twatter suck. Every search engine I’ve migrated to seems to be in decline, duckduckgo was good for a while, now it isn’t, same for Qwant, Presearch etc. though the latter still somewhat usable.

It’s as if a black hole is ranging around the net devouring consciousness.

That’s the point though, it’s their rules, that doesn’t stop them being complete dicks in the same way @Garrick would be if he randomly closed this place down one day without telling anyone, leaving the option to talk about chinchillas or nothing on the table.

The thing I like about Presearch is that they aren’t trying to be a one stop shop. I’ve customised my alternative search engines to be Qwant, Yandex and a couple more, for example. Qwant/Duckduckgo are just Bing really. How much better is The Best(?) search engine that that combo?

Lady Diana got a huge taxpayer funded pension after her divorce, the judge citing ye olde “in the manner to which she has become accustomed” spiel. Obviously doesn’t apply to the rest of us.

As for Presearch, I find it pretty good, shills are attacking it, so it’s not so much compromised atm afaict

Qwant was excellent for awhile but I recall it being somewhat wanting recently on some specific searches, the jury’s still out on that one ime

That’s the great thing about it, in those situations where we could feel somethings better out there, there are giant, customizable icons to click and immediately search somewhere else with. Very convenient and free thinking of them.