Blog logoMatthew Lang


A 30 post collection

The Feed is Dying

 •  Filed under RSS, Links, Internet

The feed is dying. The reverse-chronological social media feed — the way you’ve read Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs (which is to say, the internet) at various points over the last decade, updates organized according to the time they were posted, refreshed at the top of the screen — no longer really makes sense. The unfiltered informational cascade that defined the internet of the 2010s is going the way of the front-page-style web portal: It’s an outdated way of processing online information. The way we consume social media is being transformed and tinkered with as Silicon Valley tries to wring as much engagement, attention, and money out of it as possible. The feed is dying, and we feel shocked by its death — but we shouldn’t.

The Feed is Dying by Select All

RSS is the winner in all this. A chronological feed that you have complete control over.

It's sad to see so social media feeds switching to curated feeds that promote content we might be interested in.

I can't help but wonder though that if all these social media feeds were a paid for subscription service to begin with, would we even need customised social feeds?

The Pitfall of Free Services

 •  Filed under Daily Post, Social Media, Internet

There's little doubt that the world wants free online services. Darren Rovell's poll on Twitter might not be completely unbiased as it was conducted on Twitter, but the results of the poll are clear. People want free stuff.

When it comes to online services and apps, I tend to favour those that come with subscription plans or a one-off cost for a license. Why? Well, because I want to support the team behind the software and the money they get from me helps towards keeping that service alive and running.

The pitfall of a free service though is that once you've dug that pit and put a sign up saying it's "It's free!", everyone wants to jump in. It then becomes hard to get those people back out and into paying for the service.

There are exceptions to this rule, such as companies that offered the right incentives to get customers to pay or services that rely on ads to subsidise the free service. These are the exceptions though and success in their service doesn't means that others using the same method will be successful as well.

Traditional businesses (retail e.g.) never give anything away for free. You always pay for something. It's simple numbers. If you want something you have to pay for it. More and more online services are realising this and bootstrapping their service from the beginning. It's good to see. I just wish more of the services that I love to use online would have stayed clear of the "It's free" pitfall from the beginning.

The Website Obesity Crisis

 •  Filed under Internet, Web

Maciej Cegłowski, the creator of Pinboard, highlights the growing obesity of the web and what can be done to improve it.

Let’s preserve the web as the hypertext medium it is, the only thing of its kind in the world, and not turn it into another medium for consumption, like we have so many examples of already.

Let’s commit to the idea that as computers get faster, and as networks get faster, the web should also get faster.

The Website Obesity Crisis by Maciej Cegłowski

Having read this I've just checked this site and I'm glad to say that the index page and a few of the longer form posts are definitely smaller than a major work of Russian literature.


 •  Filed under Medium, Writing, Blogging, Internet

A nice reminder that while places like Medium allow you to share your writing easily, you're still playing by someone else's rules.

The allure of other playgrounds, that already have lots of people using their jungle gym and interacting, is great. It’s hard (and far less fun) to play with your bouncy ball all by yourself. But if you want to ensure you’ve always got access to a bouncy ball and some killer monkey bars, you’ve got to be the one who owns them.

Whose playground are you playing in? by Paul Jarvis

Living the Life

 •  Filed under Social Media, Internet

A little reminder that the Internet is simply a facade into people's lives. You need to actually know a person to know the life they lead.

What I share online only represents a tiny portion of my life. Sure, I live a pretty decent life, and really don’t have anything to complain about, but still — it’s not nearly as interesting as a lot of folks assume. And conversely, I’m sure a lot of folks I assume have an amazingly awesome, super interesting life are exactly the same.

No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are
by Paul Jarvis